[GRASS5] Re: An internal db for GRASS

Rich Shepard rshepard at appl-ecosys.com
Sat Feb 10 13:23:01 EST 2001

On Thu, 8 Feb 2001, David D Gray wrote:

> I would just like to add my voice to support inclusion of Berkeley DB in
> GRASS. If you start thinking about bringing in an external database
> system for GRASS, you just keep going round in circles because nothing
> is quite perfect. But DB is the best. The problems are:

  Having a database built into GRASS is the ideal solution, but we seem to
be going around in circles over this issue. Here's why:

> 2. It does not have spatial data structures. Just now there are flat
> record/hash table/BTree options. It would be nice to have a system with
> largely consistent features but give a wide variety of choices for the
> type of key to use, including spatial types.

  If we're looking at a dbms for attribute data, I still like postgres. But,
my understanding of the objections to postgres is that it doesn't handle
spatial data structures. Apparently, Berkeley DB doesn't either. So, what do
we gain by using it?

  With postgres for attribute data we have a GPL application that runs on
almost all platforms and is well documented and well supported.

> The GIST library does have a larger variety of data structure types to
> choose from, and is aimed more at traditional uses of digital mapping,
> like GIS, but is not primarily for information handling like a
> traditional RDBMS. Maybe that could be used also. I think this has been
> discussed before, but I don't know if anyone is using it - are there
> plans for inclusion?

  While I don't know anything about this, I was under the impression that
the academic CS types at Baylor were addressing this need of a built-in
GRASS dbms that would accommodate spatial and attribute data of the various
types manipulated by GRASS. Perhaps Bruce could enlighten us on this point.
The folks down there (that's relative to where I am, of course) have the
expertise we need.



Dr. Richard B. Shepard, President

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