BEYOND POSTGIS - NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN OPEN SOURCE SPATIAL DATABASES
PostGIS has proven to be an attractive and viable alternative to proprietary spatial databases. With new developments in a variety of open source software projects there are more and more emerging options for storing and manipulating spatial data based on FOSS. The talk will introduce and compare some of the exciting new developments in open source database technology, many of which are about to become viable alternatives to proprietary systems. Some of the database systems are aimed to be used in desktop environments and web applications and scalable to support enterprise level applications. Among this group is PostGIS and new emerging developments (in terms of spatial capabilities) such as the INGRES database and JASPA. INGRES is a database that has been around for a long time but only recently became opens source and has been added with spatial capabilities. JASPA is a rewrite of PostGIS functionality in Java and can be used as a replacement or complementary to PostGIS.
SpatiaLite is a portable light weight spatial DBMS built on top of SQLite. A related tool is the RasterLite library that can handle Raster data. SpatiaLite has the potential to replace shape files as a simple data exchange format. GeoCouch (an extension for Apache CouchDB) uses a different approach. It is a not a relational database but manages a collection of JSON document instead. It is designed for local replication, supports geo-spatial queries like bounding box or polygon searches and scales vertically along a wide range of devices. Other spatial databases include MySQL which also offers spatial capabilities and H2 Spatial which is being created as an embedded Java database in conjunction with the Geoserver web mapping application. A summary of GIS applications that can be used with the databases mentioned above will finish the talk.
Karsten Vennemann - TerraGIS Ltd