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Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008 (Expert's Voice in SQL Server) Paperback – January 15, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alastair Aitchison has more than eight years of experience as a management information consultant, specializing in the design and deployment of online reporting systems. For the last three years, he has been employed as a reporting and analysis manager at Aviva, the world's fifth largest insurance group. In this role, he has championed the use of spatial data in corporate applications including the geographic analysis of risk patterns, plotting the success of regional marketing campaigns, and understanding the impact of major weather incidents. Alastair is a Microsoft Office Specialist Master Instructor and has delivered numerous training courses to individuals and small groups on a range of software packages.
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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in SQL Server
  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2009 edition (January 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430218290
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430218296
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Grant Fritchey on April 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I started reading Alastair Aitchison's book on Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008 I thought to myself, "Wow, I'm glad this is the beginning book." The concepts that make up spatial data and the means necessary to store and retrieve this data from your SQL Server database are quite difficult. Luckily Mr. Aitchison has written this book. I've just read the entire thing, running most of the samples. My copy has a number of post-it flags hanging out all over the place on topics that I want to re-explore or explore in more depth. I'm already planning on handing this off to co-workers so that they can learn the basics of working with spatial data as well.

The book is very clearly written. All the examples I tried worked. As I said before, Mr. Aitchison does a great job of explaining very difficult concepts so that even someone completely new to the topic will understand. That's the goal of a beginners book and it is very well met.

Now I want to see Intermediate Spatial please?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David M. Kulpanowski on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would give this book a high recommendation. Using this book I was able to take GPS data of ambulances travelling around our county and import it into SQL Server 2008, spatialize the tables and write queries against it. Examples of my queries are; what is the distance between standby locations and the subsequent dispatch location? How far away are emergency incidents from the fire station? By hour of day, where are emergency incidents happening within the county? Where in the county are we NOT meeting our response time standard?
I used to use ArcInfo for this type of work, but processing all the spatial data within SQL Server makes a lot of sense. It eliminates several steps such as exporting the data out of the database, importing it into ArcGIS and making points, then doing point in polygon overlays. Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008 goes a long way towards helping me perform operational planning for Fire Services and Emergency Medical Services. This book helps me solve real-world problems. Mr. Aitchison has a clear writing style and the book covers topics that are useful for solving geographic issues.
So many issues in business and government have a spatial component such as: which schools in Detroit to close, where to locate a new fire station in Fort Myers, where are customers relative to my stores, etc. This book goes a long way in helping you analyze your spatial data.
Once again, I would give this book a high recommendation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Denis Gobo on June 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I will just start of by saying that this is a truly awesome book. Although I have tinkered a little with the new geospatial capabilities in a blog post, I did not really understand or know that there were some many nuances and things that you had to be careful about.
Did you know that there are different map projections? This book will show you the differences between the Hammer-Aitoff map projection, the Mercator map projection and the equirectangular map projection. You will also learn what the different spatial reference systems that SQL server 2008 supports are.

If you are a SQL server developer and you have to incorporate some spatial data on your website or perhaps on your intranet then this is the book for you. The book is written in a casual style, things that might seem complicated at first are explained thoroughly over several pages. There are many images in this book (we all know that an image is a thousand words) which really help explain concepts. There are links in this book that point to great resources.

I highly recommend this book if you want to learn about spatial data in SQL Server 2008. You will not be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom von Alten on November 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
The book provides a good introduction to spatial data and the specifics of working with it in the context. It extends to providing examples of ONE-WAY web apps with GoogleMaps and VirtualEarth, to offer read-only spatial data to browsers. It does not anticipate that one might want to obtain user input and write something back to a database, a rather significant oversight.

I was also disappointed to realize (after some digging; it might have been apparent from the publishing date, but the text doesn't highlight the fact) that his GoogleMaps API target was v2. That's OK, that was what was current when he wrote it, but the apress booksite doesn't seem to think a $30 to $50 code book needs any follow-up information. v3 should be covered at this point.

The text and the code (VB in print, but you can get C# from apress.com) both could have used more effective editing. Storytelling is fine, but this is a means to an end, not a novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Magnus Salgo on May 13, 2010
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I think this book is good for someone new to GIS. The feeling I get is that the author is paid by number of pages so we get some additional things like creating Web applications in Visual Studio which maybe could have been left for another book and instead focus on SQL Server 2008 and the functionality.....

SRP => focus on SQL Server 2008 is my wish....

Summary worth reading to get started but where is the next step......
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Author Alastair Aitchison's book, "Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008" is the best introduction to the topic of SQL spatial data you can find. With fully functional examples the author demonstrates his complete mastery of the subject matter. Alastair makes designing databases to store geospatial data -- dare I say it? -- fun! From the beginning of the book the author assumes no knowledge of Geospatial Information Systems. In chapter 1, for instance, he describes the basics of all geospatial reference systems in simple and clear language. Take this quote from Chapter 1:

"...the earth is still not a regular shape. In fact, it is so unique that geophysicists have a specific word solely used to describe the shape of the earth--the geoid."

Alastair lays a foundation with simple definitions like this one, that he then builds on to explain even more complex concepts like "reference ellipsoids", "datum", and "projection", to name a few. Beginning with chapter 2 the author discusses the SQL Server 2008 geometry and geography data types in great detail. Alastair discusses the power of the spatial data types and he gives you insight into the limitations and "implementation quirks" of the different types. Consider the ring orientation limitation of polygons defined using the geography data type:

"To resolve this ambiguity [defining the inside of a polygon], when you define the points of a Polygon using the geography datatype, SQL Server 2008 treats the area on the 'left' of the path drawn between the points of a ring as being contained within the interior of the Polygon, and excludes any points that lie on the 'right' side of the ring.
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