Powerful Geographical Visualisations made easy with SQL 2008 Spatial (Part 2)


Step 3, examine our results
If you recall our top 5 emissions it is no surprise that US and China are pretty fat, but our number 3 emitter, Russia, actually shrinks. Europe, Japan and Korea really stand out:



Europe



Asia



North America

Within the Spatial Results viewer of SQL2008 you can zoom in, show labels and change the projection.

Visually interesting it becomes very clear which countries are the big emitters based on land area, the complete lack of Africa and very lean South America really brings home the lack of emissions from these countries. Has your country swelled past its normally size?  What countries would you be concentrating on to reduce emissions?

Conclusion
I’m pretty impressed by what we can do with SQL 2008 spatial today, however be careful with the use of expensive spatial functions. Spatial is now a commodity, no longer a specialised GIS package for limited organisations. SQL 2008 gives you the ability to store and query against your data spatially.

Spatial data varies in quality, licensing terms and cost. SQL 2008 does not come with any spatial data. Match the spatial data you need with your purpose, if you’re showing the whole world you don’t need 95,000 points per country.

The circle representation of emissions ran in less then a second on my machine, the final recursive buffered countries took about 4 min. Complex Spatial queries can be incredibly powerful but also can be highly computational. The 4min included about 4000 STBuffers() of varying complex geography.

This article exclusively used the Spatial Results viewer inside SQL 2008. I couldn’t set the colours on the items shown and could only take screen shots for this article. Better visualisation applications are being created to view the results of your queries. The data from SQL is available as WKT, WKB and GML. I’m very interested in using the power of Silverlight in projects like DeepEarth to visualise these results effectively on the web.

I hope you enjoyed this article and look forward to your comments, suggestions and your spatial visualisations with SQL Server 2008.

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