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Spatial Database in DBMS


A general-purpose database (often a relational database) which has been improved to contain spatial information that represents objects specified in a geometric space as well as tools for searching and analyzing such data, is known as a Spatial Database. The depiction of basic geometric objects like points, lines, and polygons is supported by the majority of Spatial Databases. Some Spatial Databases can handle more complicated structures, including triangulated irregular networks, topological coverages, and 3D objects. Traditional databases have evolved to manage a variety of character and numeric data types, but to process spatial data types effectively, and these databases need additional capability, which is why developers frequently include geometries or feature data types. Your spatial dataset can be accessed, stored, and managed with the help of Spatial Databases. Nearly all relational and Object-relational Database Management Systems currently in use have spatial extensions, and a few GIS software companies have created their own spatial extensions for Database Management Systems.


A Geographic Database, sometimes known as a Geodatabase, is a Georeferenced Spatial Database that is used to store and modify geodata or information about a specific place on Earth. Additionally, the term "geodatabase" can refer to a collection of exclusive geographic database formats called Geodatabase (Esri).

For instance, a city might connect and use datasets from common spatial databases for its wastewater department, land registry, transportation, and fire services.

Characteristics of Spatial Database:

One or more spatial data types that enable the recording of spatial data as values in a table are the fundamental capability that a spatial extension to a database adds. Based on the vector data model, a single spatial value is often a geometric primitive (points, lines, polygon, etc.). The OGC Simple Features definition for describing geometric primitives serves as the foundation for most spatial databases' data types. Raster data can also be stored in some spatial databases. Spatial Databases must support the tracking and manipulation of coordinate systems since every geographic place must be described using a spatial reference system. In many systems, a choice of a coordinate system is included when a spatial column is defined in a table. This choice is made from a list of possible systems that are kept in a lookup table.

The addition of geographic capabilities to the query language (such as SQL), which gives the Spatial Database access to the exact query, analysis, and manipulation operations as standard GIS software, is the second significant functionality extension in a spatial database. This feature is implemented as a collection of new methods that can be used in SQL SELECT statements in the majority of Relational Database Management Systems.

There are Several Types of Operations like:

  • Measurement:
    Computes geometry distance, polygon area, line length, etc.
  • Geoprocessing:
    Create new features by changing existing ones, for as by surrounding them with a buffer or by intersecting features.
  • Geometry Constructors:
    Specifies the vertices (points or nodes) that define the form to create new geometries.
  • Observer Functions:
    Queries that give detailed answers on a feature, like the location of a circle's center.
  • Predicates:
    True/false questions about the spatial relationships between geometries are permissible.

Spatial Index:

Indexes are frequently used in database systems to provide faster and more effective data access and search. But spatial queries are not a good fit for this index. Instead, to improve database efficiency, geographical databases employ something similar to a distinct index known as a Spatial Index. A system must be able to obtain data from a vast collection of items without actually searching them all. Hence Spatial Indexing is crucial. In addition to filtering, it ought to better allow connections between objects from various classes.

In addition to indexes, geographical databases also provide spatial data types in their query language and data model. To give a basic abstraction and represent the structure of the spatial figures with their related interactions and processes in the geographical environment, these databases require unique sorts of data types. The system would be unable to provide the level of modelling that a spatial database enables without these kinds of data types.

Spatial Query:

A unique kind of sql query supported by spatial databases, especially geodatabases, is known as a Spatial Query. The queries have a number of significant differences from non-spatial SQL queries. The usage of geometry data types, including points, lines, and polygons, as well as the fact that these queries take the spatial relationship between these geometries into account, are two of the most crucial features.

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