Posts
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    SQL Server Spatial Support: An Introduction

    • 32 Comments
    I’ve been pretty quiet around here, and at least part of the reason is that we’ve been pretty tight-lipped about what we’ve been up to. We’ve now gone public—we’re providing support for geospatial data in our next version of SQL Server, codenamed Katmai...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Nearest Neighbors

    • 16 Comments
    Hi Folks, Spatial users often want to find the object nearest a given point. This operation, usually referred to as nearest neighbor search , is remarkably common in many areas of computer science. In general, we may wish to find not only the nearest...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Is my spatial index being used?

    • 10 Comments
    I've seen a problem commonly phrased something like: I have X million records in a spatial table, and have created a spatial index, yet a simple select query takes me Y hours to complete. Ouch! If the problem is this extreme, the solution is usually pretty...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    The Geography Hemisphere Limitation

    • 1 Comments
    Hi Folks, It occurs to me that I haven’t posted anything about the hemisphere limitation for the SQL Server geography type.  This limitation is a little confusing, and could probably use some clarification. It also occurs to me that I haven’t posted...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Latitude-Longitude Ordering

    • 16 Comments
    Hi Folks, If you've been following the spatial forum over at MSDN, you've probably run across this thread . In short, we've ignited quite a controversy with the coordinate ordering for the well-known text and well-known binary we use for the geography...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Our Upcoming Builder API

    • 9 Comments
    Hi Folks, We have one more upcoming pre-release before we're done with SQL Server 2008, and while I've posted a few articles about the coordinate order swap, there's another exciting piece we're releasing: our builder API. Let's say you wanted to write...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    One Type, Two Types...

    • 10 Comments
    This is a little bit less of an introductory post than the last one , but there was quite a bit of discussion about our decision to split our spatial types in two---one for our planar ("flat-Earth") model and one for our ellipsoidal ("round-Earth") model...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Basic Multi-Level Grids

    • 3 Comments
    Hi Folks, Last time , we highlighted several problems with a simple grid index. If you don't recall---and since it's been a while, that wouldn't be a surprise---you may want to review them. In this post I'll start to describe how we get around them...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Eye Candy of the Highest Order

    • 24 Comments
    Hi Folks, One of the most common questions about the spatial support in SQL Server is how to visualize results. To illustrate the problem, consider a query over zip code data: select id, shapegeog from zipcodes where id like '981%' The results...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Spatial Data Type Structure

    • 14 Comments
    Hi Folks, As part of a larger effort to document our protocols, SQL Server has just released documentation on the structure of our spatial types.  The document is also available in PDF .  Note that all of this is preliminary, and while I doubt...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    SQL Server Spatial Indexing

    • 1 Comments
    Hi Folks, This post contains no new information; it’s just a rollup of links to spatial indexing posts I’ve made.  If you want to know more about spatial indexing, these are the ones to read. In order: Why a Spatial Index? A Simple Spatial Indexing...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    The Upcoming Geography Coordinate Order Swap---A FAQ

    • 14 Comments
    Hi Folks, I just thought I'd take a few moments clarify the upcoming coordinate order swap for the geography type. Here's a quick FAQ on the issue: What exactly is the change? We are swapping the coordinate order for well-known text (WKT) and...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Frequently Asked Question: How do I load shapefiles?

    • 6 Comments
    This has come up a few times now.  Multiple questions deserve at least one answer, right? First, Microsoft has not produced a shapefile loader (or exporter).  If this is important to you, here’s the Connect item to hit.  (And yes: we do...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    CodePlex: SQL Server Spatial Tools

    • 4 Comments
    Hi Folks, I've just published a new project on CodePlex: SQL Server Spatial Tools .  The core idea is that instead of pushing up more samples showing how to extend our spatial functionality in text , we can put them in a more usable form.  Beyond...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Spatial Indexing Part 2: A Simple Spatial Indexing Scheme

    • 5 Comments
    Hi Folks, Let's continue with the discussion of spatial indexing form last time . If you already know a lot about spatial indexing these first few posts are going to be a lot of background---hopefully I don't make too many mistakes. :) We're going...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    The Unexpected Too-Large Polygon

    • 4 Comments
    Hi Folks, I recently got contacted via email with the following problem: ... I have 2 complex polygons, representing district boundaries. The polygons look correct, but I'm getting exceptions when I try to create the type. I've attached the...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Spatial Indexing Part 1: Why a Spatial Index?

    • 7 Comments
    Hi Folks, If you've seen one of my recent spatial talks, you've seen me walk through the basics of how our indexing works. I'm going to do roughly the same thing here over a series of blog posts, except that I'm (eventually) going to go into a few...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Edges on the Globe

    • 3 Comments
    Hi Folks, In previous posts about our new geography type, I've discussed ring orientation and too-large polygons , but there is much more information to mine. I'm going to continue here with a discussion of edges. This post may be a little dense for those...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    In or Out?

    • 5 Comments
    I've been stalling, trying not to say too much about spatial until it's actually available. The code has all been in for some time now, but its been waiting for its release vehicle: the next CTP. Hopefully it should be in your hands in a few weeks. ...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    More on the Multi-Level Grid

    • 5 Comments
    Hi Folks, In my last indexing post , I filled in most of the details about our multi-level grid index. Let me clean up a few lingering questions about our planar grid. We'll do this Q&A style: Q: What happens if I set the maximum number...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    PDC and a Nice Geographic Puzzle

    • 9 Comments
    Hi Folks, At PDC I gave a talk largely inspired by topics raised here and in the spatial forums.  But “inspired by” doesn’t equate to “a duplicate of”, and to turn things around, I’ve been meaning to write a few posts here inspired by my PDC talk...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    Spatial Indexing Part 3: Faster Primary Filtering

    • 4 Comments
    Hi Folks, Last time we talked about a simple primary filter. (See previous installments: 1 , 2 .) We stopped short, however, of showing how this primary filter would actually make anything faster. Recall that our simple grid index defines a table...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    The Imprecise Nature of Geometry

    • 6 Comments
    Hi Folks, Let's kick this off with what may be a surprising result.  What should this code return? declare @g geometry = 'LINESTRING (0 0, 1 3)' declare @h geometry = 'LINESTRING (0 3, 2 0)' declare @i geometry = @g.STIntersection(@h).ToString...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    New Stuff in SQL Spatial Tools

    • 1 Comments
    Hi Folks, Marko Tintor from our Serbia team just dropped some new functionality into the SQL Server Spatial Tools project on CodePlex: A method for testing whether a geography instance is valid. Better: a method for creating a valid geography from invalid...
  • Isaac @ MSDN

    The Spatial Library without the Server: Bug and Workaround

    • 4 Comments
    Hi Folks, Jason Follas recently ran across a lingering issue when using our spatial library without the server.  I mistakenly thought the fix had been shipped, but for now it remains. The background is that the spatial library consists of a managed...
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