[postgis] The Next Level

Paul Ramsey pramsey at refractions.net
Fri Jul 27 13:56:30 PDT 2001

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> In this area, there is a broad set of work on supporting tables for 
> spatial data referencing spatial tables, spatial columns within 
> those tables, and coordinates systems associated with those columns 
> that hasn't been done in PostGIS.  In fact I am not quite sure how 
> we would do it.  I see this as more important to building an 
> interoperable SFSQL solution than adding support
> for exotic spatial operators (though they would be nice).

Support for SRS is on our list (although I think I forgot it in the
email listing). The general goal is to get as close to SFSQL compliance
as possible: it's a credibility thing. Regarding the exotic operators,
if the JTS project had not already been funded to write and release the
algorithms as open source, we could not contemplate it with the
relatively small budget we are working from. With JTS, the job collapses
to porting the algorithms to C++ and revisiting the underlying database
objects of PostGIS to make interoperating with the C++ JTS libraries

> >   b) bundling of binaries (RPM, WIN32 Setup) for easy install
> What are the chances of us getting postgis available from the 
> normal PostgreSQL sources as an option for the standard install 
> of PostgreSQL?  Have you been in contact with the postgresql 
> developers about such a thing?  If not, I happen to know Marc 
> 'Scrappy' Fournier (core maintainer) who used to get a UUCP feed
> through me.  I could approach him.

I'm sure they'll add us to 'contrib/' without any difficulties
whatsoever. If you think we should pursue that, we can. The release in
contrib will always lag our development release though (since pgsql
releases on a more infrequent schedule, natch). 

I see proper bundling as important because so many people simply cannot
Use The Source. It's not in their nature. So a bundled Win32
PostGIS/PostgreSQL or an RPM PostGIS/PostgreSQL would be a boon to a
user community which would be locked out otherwise.

> This might also relate to possibilities of geoinnovations 
> cofunding.  Great Bridge and Red Hat are both pushing PostgreSQL 
> now for "enterprise" solutions. Perhaps one of them could be 
> convinced to provide a little seed funding to
> a geoinnovations project.

I had not initially considered going directly to Red Hat or Greatbridge,
but I am re-evaluating that now. Given the magnitude of the investment
(smallish) and the fact that geoinnovations would be magnifying that
investment substantially with its contribution, I am hoping that Red Hat
and Greatbridge might *both* contribute. The more organizations willing
to contribute a little, the less each organizations has to contribute.

> There might also be government agencies in Canada of the type that would
> like to buy something like CubeSTOR but find it too expensive that we might
> be able to talk into providing some seed funding.

If you know of any, or of people who might know of any, please forward
information to them. I have attached a short PostGIS PDF blurb which I
am sending to people.

> Any thoughts on what client you would target?  A few options:

All interesting options. The most desirable is clearly the ESRI client,
from the point of view of people being interested in accepting
PostGIS/PostgreSQL into their GIS shops. One option you do not mention
is OpenMap from BBN, which I really like alot.

     | Paul Ramsey
     | Refractions Research
     | Email: pramsey at refractions.net
     | Phone: (250) 885-0632
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