October 04, 2004
Spatially and Geodetically Extending
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Message from the Editor -


Welcome to GISWeekly!IBM has been in the news lately with its revised version of DB2 Spatial Extender technology in the DB2 Universal Database version 8.2, previously codenamed “Stinger,” that was developed jointly by IBM and ESRI. The Spatial Extender is now included in all versions of IBM DB2 Universal Database and enables spatial access and analysis.. More ESRI components are embedded directly into the DB2 Spatial Extender database. Read about this technology in this week's Industry News.


GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, Appointments, New Products, Around the Web and Upcoming Events.


GISWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Alliances/Agreements, Announcements, New Products, Going on Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.


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Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor




Industry News


Spatially and Geodetically Extending

By Susan Smith


IBM has been in the news lately with its revised version of DB2 Spatial Extender technology in the DB2 Universal Database version 8.2, previously codenamed “Stinger,” that was developed jointly by IBM and ESRI. The Spatial Extender is now included in all versions of IBM DB2 Universal Database and enables spatial access and analysis.. More ESRI components are embedded directly into the DB2 Spatial Extender database.


For many years, GIS professionals (or perhaps mostly vendors?) have claimed that roughly 80 percent of all data has spatial characteristics. Even postal code information is inherently spatial, and the advent of Spatial databases have enabled users to exploit spatial data to do analysis of distance, driving times or proximity, capabilities heavily used in business and retail analysis.


Clearly there is more to be gained with maximizing the use of spatial data, hence the proliferation of spatial databases and development of spatial “extenders” such as IBM's. The growth of relatively inexpensive wireless WiFi or LAN networks, wireless laptops and PDAs has also challenged database managers to come up with application development and databases to be able support the bottom layer environment so that data can pass seamlessly between online and offline settings. The opportunity to access applications on the back-end that were never intended to go mobile and get them from the back office to where users can actually use them out in the field is also a big impetus for
database developers today.


Included here are key features and capabilities of Spatial Extender, directly from IBM.


Key features of DB2 Spatial Extender include:
-Adds data types so spatial data can be represented as geometric shapes, such as points, lines and polygons as compliant OGC Simple Features for SQL, native types.


-Enables SQL access to spatial data for loading, retrieving, indexing and other functions


-Supports SQL queries of spatial data, separately or joined with conventional business data stored in any DB2 database, including DB2/zOS and DB2/Series platforms


-Works with visualization tools such as ESRI ArcExplorer to provide visual map renderings of spatial data
According to David Beddoe and Robert Uleman of IBM's DB2 Information Management, Software Group, the Stinger version of DB2 supports Version 2.6 of the Linux kernel, which will help database clusters perform faster and take advantage of the speed of 64 bit databases and servers that rely on multiple processors. Stinger is a direct competitor of Oracle 10g, which we profiled in last week's GISWeekly.


An example of a customer might be a retail business owner who wants to expand the business and explore what the best location for a new store might be to attract upscale customers. Using existing data such as addresses and income data for each customer and census demographic data, the business owner wants to find out which customers live farther than 10 miles from the existing stores and have an income greater than $50,000 per year. Using DB2 Spatial Extender's geocoder function, the owner can translate the stores' and customers' address from this database into spatial data.


ArcExplorer, a pure Java spatial visualization application, works with Spatial Extender to visually identify where the stores and customers are.


DB2 Extender's software requirements include a licensed copy of DB2 Universal Database Enterprise Server Edition, Workgroup Server Edition, Personal Edition, Express Edition, Personal Developer's Edition or Universal Developer's Edition.


Capabilities offered in DB2 Spatial Extender include:


For spatial data modeling:
  • 13 spatial data types to model the placement or form of real world entities


  • Ability to subtype the spatial data types to provide additional extensibility


  • Conformance with the OGC and ISO spatial data type standards (Simple Features Specification for SQL)


  • Support for popular industry data formats
  • For Spatial data access:
  • A set of OGC specified spatial functions such as ST_Distance, ST_Contains and ST_Intersection


  • An integrated spatial index type that supports fast search of 2D (x,y) data


  • Manipulation of spatial data directly inside the database


  • Optimization of SQL queries involving spatial functions as well as non-spatial functions for optimal performance.



  • Tackling a Problem Spherically


    Concurrently with this release comes IBM DB2 Geodetic Extender, a spatially enabled database management system using IBM DB2 software. Geodetic Extender takes IBM Spatial Extender one step further - to the virtual globe, doing away with the edges and distortions tolerated with projected maps. Most new data today is collected in GPS and represented in latitude-longitude coordinates. The shortest distance between two points on the globe is an arc, not a straight line, which is called a geodesic, based on the earth's curvature. What the Geodetic Extender brings to the table is that it uses technology originally designed for working with geodesics and calculating the lengths, and uses its
    special
    indexing method called the geodetic Voronoi index. The index has the ability to adapt to the nature of the data and unique properties that can help increase speed for calculating distances combined with the simplicity of a grid. The Geodetic Extender also uses a latitude-longitude coordinate system on an ellipsoidal earth model to precisely manage objects defined on the earth's surface.


    In short, some highlights of this system include:
  • Manages geospatial information referenced by latitude-longitude coordinates


  • Offers storage and retrieval capabilities for geographic data


  • Supports global geographic queries without the limitations inherent in map projections


  • Helps to ensure precision and accuracy-engineered (from inception) to treat the earth as a continuous globe rather than a flat plane bounded by edges


  • Uses the Voronol spatial index for maximum performance.
  • For traditional map based technology, professionals can use DB2 Spatial Extender, but for a more global approach DB2 Geodetic Extender will depict the world as round rather than flat. Military command and control and asset management, meteorology and oceanography (scientific, government and commercial), and satellite imagery and digital map providers are among those who use a round earth.


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