Insights Blog

Geospatial functions are particularly important in a number of industries

Geospatial functions: Adventures in Space as well as in Time

I have put together another one of my (legendary?) videos on the subject of Geospatial functions.

One of the problems with our product being so well-known for speed is that people often forget that it is good for more than just supernaturally fast table joins and summaries.

You see, it also supports a wide range of built-in functions covering everything we can think of – and if you have a particular requirement for some specialist function, then you can watch another of my (legendary?) videos and write a User-Defined Function in Loading...Java, R, Lua or Loading...Python.

Geospatial functions are particularly important in a number of industries, and so we have made sure that this area is fully covered – both through the provision of the full range of geospatial datatypes, but also through a wide range of built-in functions – certainly too many to cover in an 8 minute video.

With EXASOL’s geospatial functionality, you can build maps of staggering complexity (often from data freely available online) and store them in the database. Then you can combine the geography with (for example) time-series data to get answers to a lot of “WHERE ?” questions.

  • Where are my customers/parcels/depots/factories/… ?
  • Where are the gaps in coverage ?
  • Where is my product being used most/least ?

“Where?” isn’t the question people usually ask of their data – it’s usually “When?” and “How Much ?”. This is due to the fact that, historically, information about location and distance was not available. But today, with GPS and RFID tagging and a dozen other emerging technologies, this data is available and has enormous value (if you have the tools to extract that value).

I like to say that without Geospatial you might know “When ” and you might know “How Much” – but you will not have the first idea “Where”.