During WhereCamp Boston one of the impromptu break-out sessions was on spatial SQL. In WhereCamp fashion the person who proposed the session was looking to learn more about spatial SQL and its many uses. With about 20 people in the session I volunteered to give a few examples of spatial SQL within Microsoft SQL Server. Now, I was not prepared to give an in-depth or very informative session. In fact, it was probably the worst presentation I have ever given. I went through a number of examples of of some basic principals and I said I would put together a “Hello World” example of spatial SQL sometime after the meeting.
But, to complete a “Hello World” example we need to develop some background first. In order to develop the guide I will be putting it together from the ground-up. I use Microsoft SQL Server everyday, but I am GIS professional first, and many of the readers of this site are also GIS professionals. Therefore, I will write the how-to from this point of view. If you are a database professional this guide might be a little boring, but if you are a GIS professional I hope you’ll get something out of it.
The guide will be broken into three additional posts. The first will be cover some background and vocab. Part two will discuss basic spatial SQL syntax, and the third part will walk through how to expand basic scripts into larger sql processes. Once the guides have been finished I will provide links below.
Part 1 – Welcome to Spatial SQL – 11/14/2011
Part 2 – Basic Spatial SQL Scripts – 11/21/2011
Part 3 – More Basic SQL Scripts – 1/2012
Part 4 – Working Spatial SQL into Larger Processes – 2/2012
*Update – 12/4/2011- with the holidays and other commitments I am going to push back the last two installments!
This guide is being developed for use with Microsoft SQL Server. That’s the DBMS that I use on a daily basis.
Before I release these posts feel free to browse some resources on spatial SQL and Microsoft SQL Server:
- Microsoft SQL Server and here is the Wikipedia link…
- And, what is a RDBMS?
- A good intro to Spatial SQL.
- Working with spatial data.
- Background on the geometry vs. geography data type.
- Another good intro to spatial SQL. Make sure to check out the other posts in this series.
- Bob Beuchemin’s blog. A lot of good spatial sql tidbits.
- Microsoft SQL Server Express 2008 R2 – what I’ll use in the demonstrations.
- Shape2SQL – what I’ll use to load data from shapefiles into SQL Server.
- SQL Server spatial tools available on CodePlex.
- Beginning Spatial – create book about this topic