Chapter 1. What is a spatial database?

This chapter covers:

Spatial databases in problem solving

Spatial data types

Modeling with spatial in mind

Why you might use PostGIS/PostgreSQL for a spatial database

Loading and querying spatial data

Most folks experience their first spatially enabled application when they see pushpins tacked onto points of interest on an interactive map. This provides a glimpse into the vast and varied field of geographic information systems (GIS).

We’ll begin this chapter with a pushpin model. As we demonstrate its limited usefulness, we’ll introduce the need for a spatial database—not just any database, but PostGIS. PostGIS is a spatial database extender for the PostgreSQL database management system. We’ll provide a ...

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