Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SQL Server 2008 Spatial Tools

Now that SQL Server is compatible with the data geometry and geography types natively in SQL Server 2008 (and later) relational engine, developers and DBA are the types of data used wisely. There are many useful applications for spatial data types, and if you're not using, probably in the near future. If you have never seen a well designed application based on spatial data, I encourage you to take a look at, a website that displays the sites registered by the EPA toxic waste in the U.S. USA.

We were able to store data in longitude and latitude for the creation of relational databases. But the beauty of the spatial data types is its ease of use. The fact that spatial data types are easier to use and more functional than the old methods of storing geographic data and geometric means not all strawberries and cream. For example, the load of files (using the standard ESRI), can be time consuming and require a lot of experimentation to get it right. This is where SQL Server 2008 Spatial Tools (SQLSpatialTools) comes in.

Written by geographic information systems (GIS) coding enthusiast Morten Nielsen, SQLSpatialTools is made up of two simple executables that handle SQL Server spatial data: Shape2SQL, which enables you to load shape files into a SQL Server 2008 and later, and the SQLSpatial Query Tool, which pulls spatial data out of SQL Server. Some key features of Shape2SQL include

Support for a single point, multipoint, polygon, and line types as string
Geometry and spatial data types
processing schema object, such as replacing existing tables and creating spatial indexes

Some key features include query tool SQLSpatial

The use of SQL queries to display results on a map Space
Type of spatial data display attributes to fly geometric characteristics of the map projection, as shown in Figure 1
funds made flexible and customized thematic maps

These tools do not include every possible use case for working with spatial data types. However, they get you started quickly and make this new feature of SQL Server more accessible and useful.

There are other free tools you can grab when doing spatial and mapping applications. Take a look at SharpMap on CodePlex for an easy-to-use mapping library written in C#. And if you want data, shape files, maps, and other geographic information, this is one area in which the United States and Canadian governments excel. For example, you can get almost all US public data in shape formats, such as the cartographic boundary files from each US census. I find that the MapCruzin website is a great clearinghouse for vast amounts of free data.

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