Friday, April 29, 2011

SQL Server Spatial Goldmine

We make much use of the spatial capabilities of SQL Server 2008, but there is always more to learn and we've recently been combing over the documentation on MSDN and distilling it into a simple list of functions and practical descriptions (most of the time a picture is the very best description).  Then we discovered a jackpot of spatial descriptions put together by Dave Lean, Microsoft data guru, full of knockout samples and example images!  While awesome, there is no easy way to navigate the set of posts sequentially, so here is a one-stop index of Dave's 9-part SQL Spatial bonanza for your (our) convenience:
  • Part 1: SQL Spatial Overview
  • Part 2: Geometry Types & WKT

    A nice illustration of geometry types, and a helpful reference for the taxonomy used throughout.
  • Part 3: Creating Spatial Objects
  • Part 4: Drawing Spatial Shapes
  • Part 5: Spatial Generalization

    Reduce: Douglas Peucker method of removing spatial detail.  Does a good job of considering neighboring shapes to avoid slivers and overlaps.

    Envelope: Draws the bounding box of a shape.

    Convex Hull: Draw the minimal no-inner-curves border of a shape.  Sounds pretty arbitrary but you'd be surprised.
  • Part 6: Common Geoprocessing Tasks

    The good stuff.  This page shows examples of juicy tasks like intersection, union, centroid, yada yada yada.
  • Part 7: Buffering

    Buffers, inner-buffers, buffers with tolerance...
  • Part 8: Spatial Relationships
    Yes/no kind of stuff: touches, within, contains, outside of, nearby, crosses...
  • Part 9: Spatial Characteristics
    Calculates handy attributes about your spatial data like area, length, distance...
Thanks for the great resource, Dave!

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