Subject Re: [firebird-support] OT: spatial extensions, still [OT]
Author unordained
(Microsoft Research: related to their SkyServer (astronomy) and TerraService (aerial photos)
projects.) Their requirements centered on the following, which may act as a guesstimate:
"The typical queries are points-near-point, point-in-region and region-overlaps-region – where
regions are arbitrary polygons in space-time-spectrum coordinates." (They implied that users may
have any number of desired dimensions, including EM frequency information. While we're at it, I
suppose "polygon" could be used to also describe objects like cubes?)

Games typically add requirements of the form "line-intersects-surface" or "segment-intersects-
surface", boolean geometry requests (polygon or object union, subtraction, intersection), perhaps
also "surface-surface-intersection" (NULL, point, segment), "which side of the line/surface is this
point" ... (I mention games because I have had contact with a group of programmers who were
interested in using firebird-embedded for massive game environments, in which the db server would
help reduce the in-memory data to only what was near the player(s) at the time, store the stable
state of the world as the player leaves each area, etc. One particular request here was the ability
to do an 'append' of sorts between a read-only master database of original game state and read-
write database of player changes, to save space when doing multiplayer games.)

For map servers, it makes sense to define (and easily find) items (maps, images) as being related
to a particular range of data ("this is the most precise map we have of southwestern colorado"). A
search for the "most specific" data seems useful, though some precision would have to be specified
(several precise maps patched together, or one less precise map cropped to fit?) Path-finding
algorithms like those used by MapQuest are related, but much more general, and probably outside the
scope of what you're interested in?


---------- Original Message -----------
From: "Ann W. Harrison" <aharrison@...>
Sent: Wed, 08 Sep 2004 12:03:59 -0400
Subject: [firebird-support] OT: spatial extensions

> Anyone interested in the handling of geographic data
> in Firebird please contact me with a list of features
> required and desired. No promises of any particular
> reaction, just gathering data.
> Thanks,
> Ann
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