[OSGeo-Discuss] Benefits raster data on RDBMS

Gilberto Camara gilberto.camara at inpe.br
Mon Nov 3 04:13:49 PST 2008

Dear all

Concerning the benefits of having raster data
stored together with vector data in a spatial
database, let me first quote from an excellent
paper from the late Jim Gray
("Scientific Data Management in the Coming Decade"):

   "What’s wrong with files?
    Everything builds from files as a base. HDF uses files.
    Database systems use files. But, file systems have no
    metadata beyond a hierarchical directory structure and file
    names. They encourage a do-it-yourself- data-model that
    will not benefit from the growing suite of data analysis
    tools. They encourage do-it-yourself-access-methods that
    will not do parallel, associative, temporal, or spatial
    search. They also lack a high-level query language.
    Lastly, most file systems can manage millions of files, but
    by the time a file system can deal with billions of files, it
    has become a database system."

In other words, if you have substantial amounts of raster
data (as is increasingly the case in geospatial application),
you will need to develop a significant amount of software
to manage your files. Unless... your data is handled by a
raster-enabled spatial database.

Best Regards

Dr.Gilberto Camara
Director General
National Institute for Space Research (INPE)
Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil

voice: +55-12-3945-6035
fax:   +55-12-3921-6455
web:   http://www.dpi.inpe.br/gilberto
blog:  http://techne-episteme.blogspot.com/

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