Sunday, August 21, 2005

SQL for Geographers

Hi All-

This blog is dedicated to the integration between GIS and enterprise level relational databases. I am a Geographer by trade with a strong interest in relational databases. I have been in the GIS field for 10+ years and the database field for 7. The amount of data waiting to be spatially enabled within enterprise databases is extraordinary. I hope to show in this blog working examples of database-GIS interaction. Many examples that I will show are implemented within Oracle 9.2 and ESRI's SDE 8.3. Hopefully most of the SQL algorithms will transfer to your implementation. Stay tuned for more...


Fredrick Limp's review of Oracle Spatial in GeoWorld last year (April 2004) is well worth a (re-)read for what it suggests about the future of spatial databases.

Increasing, spatial data will become just another element in existing enterprise databases - as he points out:
"With 10g, most companies and agencies won't need a 'data processing center' and a 'GIS shop.' The data processing center becomes the GIS shop. No longer will staff have to master complex DBMS and GIS technology, but just one--the DBMS."

Further more, he implies: "GIS specialists will need to become trained in DBMS principles and spatial extensions to remain competitive, but it also means that those with spatial skills--and basic DBMS capabilities--will have more opportunities to apply spatial analysis skills." How many "GIS specialists" today really possess these additional DB skills? Perhaps not as many as should or that think that they do!
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