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Re: Using MySQL 5.0 for GIS
Posted by: paul morgan
Date: April 25, 2007 04:22PM

hi,
>>i want to make the right choice from the start.

Don't we all! :) Seriously though, IMHO, you can make a choice based on your current defined needs and some possible near future requirements.. after that, it's a very grey area. I would say it depends upon a couple of things.

First off, how much coverage of spatial functions do you need? postGres has a lot more, at the moment, of the OpenGIS functions actually implemented via the postGis extension. MySQL has numerous functions that are either not implemented or implemented in a restricted way (read the docs to see how). But, hopefully, the coverage of functions in MySQL will grow - I guess it depends upon the demand for them.

Secondly, can you afford to wait for the implementations and can you work with postGres if needs be? As I said above, postGres has more functionality, but if you don't know how to interface with it then you have that learning curve to climb. The cost of MySQL may well be comfort in knowing the interface, but you are effectively waiting until they decide to implement the spatial functions you may need.

Can you get by with restricted MySQL functions in the hope that they will eventually be fully implemented... Are you enhancing an existing app or creating one from scratch.... if it is existing, would the functionality offered by less than the current app...

If you have time and don't know postGres I would say, go postGres. If it's for a project that needs to be done now, I would say identify the spatial functions you may need in the app and read the MySQL docs to see how those functions are implemented. If only a few are missing, can you codify them in the app? If the majority are missing you may need to reset expectations and try to give yourself some more time.


You could possibly mitigate change slightly by abstracting the database away from the app, so you could theoretically switch databases without affecting the rest of the app, if you find you have made the wrong choice, but that is theoretical.

Hope you can pick some answers out of that.

my 2p worth.
Paul

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