Oracle Announces New Features for Oracle Spatial at User’s Conference
The fifth annual Oracle Spatial User's Conference was
held last week following the GITA Conference in Tampa, Florida. Jim
Steiner, senior director of Oracle's Server Technology, opened the
conference with remarks about some industry trends and comments on
Oracle's recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems. "The data explosion
continues," said Steiner. He cited several important events
contributing to this phenomenon. He included the launch of
DigitalGlobe's WorldView satellite, with imagery available at
approximately .50 cm resolution. He also mentioned Nokia's acquisition
of NAVTEQ, which saw the digital data provider accelerate the rate of
geographies it captures, including more from China, plus data sets for
the telecommunication and transportation industries. Steiner discussed
the importance of user-generated content that provides a mechanism to
acquire data from users in near real-time, especially "perishable" data
such as traffic information. Finally, he noted that sensors went
mainstream in 2008, including data captured by location-enabled traffic
cameras. "This had a profound effect on the market," said Steiner.
Strategy for Oracle Spatial
Steiner said that enhancements to Oracle Spatial will include more
analysis, modeling and visualization for applications in retail,
business intelligence, utilities and other areas. The company plans to
do more with the network data model (NMD) and to add robust path
analysis to support more complex networks. There will be investment in
satellite image processing and new georeferencing methods. For the much
longer term, Steiner said, "We are going to see a convergence of the
physical and virtual world." He believes that there is a comfort and
ease that new generations have in working in virtual space. "This will
enable commercial applications with more complex spatial dimension,"
said Steiner. Oracle will continue addressing the emerging growth areas
of unstructured data to support simulations and provide a platform for
Oracle Buys SUN
How does the acquisition of Sun Microsystems fit into Oracle's
strategy? Steiner said it enhances the commitment to open standards. He
explained that the number one platform for Oracle is Solaris, followed
by Linux. Oracle and Sun share many clients. Oracle expects customer
and partner benefits for both communities, including increased R&D
New Oracle Spatial Enhancements
Siva Ravada, director of Software Development, provided details on
what's coming in the next product release, Oracle 11gR2.
GeoRaster API - Oracle will offer four sample applications to show
people how to use the GeoRaster API: tools.java, loader.java,
viewer.java and exporter.java. With these samples, users can easily
develop extract, transform and load (ETL) tools and applications geared
for Web applications.
Coordinate support for GeoRaster (SDO_GEOR.reproject) - This will allow
users to transform GeoRaster raster data from one projection to
another. All Oracle Spatial coordinate systems are supported. Five
resampling methods are supported: Nearest Neighbor, Bilinear, Cubic,
Average4 and Average16.
Polygon-based raster clipping - Blocking size optimizer-minimize
padding - Blocking size optimizer will automatically optimize the
blocking size based on the GeoRaster dimension sizes.
Two new functions - SDO_GEOR.evaluate and SDO_GEOR_evaluate.double
enable; these functions provide advanced georeferencing using ground
control points (GCP).
Extract Transform and Load Functions - The GDAL GeoRaster Driver now
loads natively, importing and exporting many formats to/from
SDO_georaster including GeoTIFF and JPEG2000.
SDO_UTIL.INTERIOR_POINT returns SDO_GEOMETRY; SDO_GEOM.SDO_TRIANGULATE
returns a geometry with triangular elements that result from Delaunay
Triangulation. These commands provide labeling capabilities requested
Union of Geometry Objects
A new method - SDO_AGGR_SET_UNION takes a VARRAY of SDO_GEOMETRY
objects as input and returns the aggregate union of all the geometry
objects in the VARRAY. This is a faster way to create the UNION of
several geometry objects. The function is useful when the geometries to
be grouped are easily gathered into a collection.
Faster Coordinate System Transformation
SDO_CS.Transform is up to 10 times faster, according to Ravada.
Now Oracle Spatial uses context between transform() calls with the same
source and target SRIDs; in prior releases the transformation context
was created for each transform() call.
Cross-endian Support for Transport Tablespace (TTS) and Spatial Index
SDO_UTIL.INITIALIZE_INDEXES_FOR_TTS now automatically fixes the index
if the TTS export is done in a different endian format than the target
Triangulated Irregular Networks and Point Clouds
A result table for SDO_PC is used to map the input points to the PTN_ID
and PINT_ID columns. This process has been very slow in the past; this
change enhances SDO_PC (point cloud) AND SDO_TIN storage.
Geocoding Using NAVTEQ Data
A new table using NAVTEQ data and the function, GC_ADDRESS_PINT_NVT,
provides point geocoding. The NAVTEQ data must reside in the database
and will have to be purchased from NAVTEQ first.
Oracle Spatial will provide full support for database transactions on
OpenGIS Web Feature Service (WFS) 1.1 feature tables and Workspace
Manager. Oracle Spatial will allow updates/deletes on WFS-T feature
tables via SQL. Users will be able to perform WFS transactions into
workspace enabled feature tables. Users need sdo_wfs_lock.enableDBtxns
procedure in a session before any workspace maintenance operation such
as refreshing a workspace or merging workspace can be completed.
Network Data Model (NDM)
Path/Subpath analysis will support multiple costs in a single analysis.
It will be possible to perform shortest distance paths with travel time
and fastest paths with travel distance.
User-defined objects can be accumulated and used in the network
constraints during network analysis. The NDM now captures changes to
the network made in the database and users can synchronize these
changes to network partitions in the database and in memory. This can
be done incrementally instead of reading the whole network again from
Logical Network Partitioning
A new partitioning utility to help partition logical networks will be
available to minimize the number of links among network partitions, and
perform load balancing with predefined thresholds. This will be
particularly useful to those who work with very large networks.
Traveling Salesman (TSP) Analysis
The new release will include a minimum cost tour function that includes
all given nodes and support points on network as the nodes are visited.
Drivetime Polygon Generation
A spatial representation (polygon) can be created against a minimum
Routing applications will be built on top of the NDM Load-on-Demand
(LOD) engine and use all the extensibility of the underlying NDM
engine. Truck routing is an example of customizing the route for a
specific application. The new routing engine allows users to specify
vehicle type (car or truck) so that it can assume certain impedances
along the highway depending on vehicle restrictions (weight, height,
axel weight, width, length), allowing users to build a very complex
routing application. Truck routing data from NAVTEQ table definitions
will make a call to the NVT_TRANSPORT table.
Fusion Middleware (FMW) MapViewer
Jayant Sharma, technical director for Oracle Spatial said, "[FMW]
MapViewer (pdf) is essentially a mashup engine... for local search,
map reporting and to some degree, interacting with the application."
FMW MapViewer is WebLogic certified, and can provide annotation text,
scalable styles, "heatmaps" and secure map rendering. MapViewer now has
a wrap-around map capability (users had requested this for some time),
a toolbar, floating map "decoration" and tabbed information windows. In
this development cycle, the objective was to focus on improving the
productivity of the developer who wanted to use it for adding different
features. The "heatmaps" function will show concentrations of points,
such as for business locations.
11g R2 now supports spherical coordinate systems. DigitalGlobe is also
making imagery more available to Oracle MapViewer through
jImageConnect, an SDK for its image library that provides access to
imagery within Web applications and can be easily embedded in already
existing Web applications.
Every year Oracle enhances Oracle Spatial with new support for raster
and vector data analysis and management. This year seems to be another
jump forward in support of advanced spatial analysis for both
Editor's Note: Oracle presented this information for the first
time in public to its users at this event. Watch the Oracle
website for the presentations that were given at the users'
conference; some information is there now with respect to Oracle
Spatial 11g functionality.