Spatial Database Systems

Silvia Nittel
Room 334  Boardman Hall

Course Objectives

Due to modern technology such as inexpensive Global Positioning System (GPS), wireless communication ability of powerful small computers and sensors in the field, vastly growing amounts of geo-spatial data are available in digital form today. The objective of this course is to provide an understanding of the role of spatial database systems in managing, organizing, sharing, and querying spatial data.  This course introduces spatial database system as a combination of spatial data collections and appropriate management software. The main part of the course focuses on the database management system (DBMS). A DBMS offers a data model and query language to structure and query data collections, and shields a user from implementation and execution details. The course introduces several data models and query languages for spatial data collections. Following, the course looks ‘behind the covers’ of a DBMS, and investigates the processing of spatial data and spatial data queries from the bottom up. This includes the storage hierarchy in DBMS, file organizations, the use of spatial index structures, the implementation of single relational and spatial operators, and the processing and optimization of spatial query consisting of a set of spatial operators. Furthermore, the aspect of transaction management and crash recovery is handled, considering both a centralized and distributed DBMS. The course balances academic insights, and principles with real-world, commercially available spatial database systems. Lec 3. Cr.3

Prerequisites: SIE 507, programming experience in Java, or C++

A. Class Sessions

  • On-campus Students: to be announced.
  • Live Broadcast: Available at http://connect.maine.edu/sie555/ Online students may view and participate in the live sessions and are required to do so. For missing students, sessions will be recorded. Skype conference calls are used for discussions.

B. Course Materials



We will use Java, Eclipse, MySQL, and JDBC for MySQL, as well as Oracle 11g in this course for programming assignments. For more up-to-date information of the software, check this page.

C. Communications

  • You must have an email account and a Blackboard account for this course. See http://www. courses.maine.edu  if you do not yet have an account. Assignments and course material will be made available on the Blackboard course site.

D. Important Notices

E. Instructor Office Hours & Discussion Sessions

For discussions with the instructor, E-mail to nittel@spatial.maine.edu is often the simplest way to get a message through and a response and arrange for a meeting.

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