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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Spatial Database Methods (PGGE11083)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course builds on the theory and techniques taught in the Spatial Modelling course, with the aim of extending and deepening appreciation of formal database management methods. The course begins by looking further at relational database management systems, considering a means of assessing the 'relational-ness' of such systems, together with SQL particularly in the context of standardisation efforts. The course continues by examining Object-Oriented and Object-Relational approaches, together with issues important to GIS such as hybrid vs. integrated data models and the long transaction. The means of encoding spatial data such that it can be held and queried within formal database management systems is examined. The course extends student's knowledge of commercial data models, reviewing their advantages and disadvantages, together with looking at case studies of database management in the commercial GIS environment. Further themes include 'big data', spatial data mining, performance, indexing and spatial metadata. Practical exercises extend the student¿s knowledge of standard SQL, examine Oracle Spatial in detail and introduce PostgreSQL / POSTGIS and MySQL and its spatial extension.
Course description Week 1
Understanding Database Management Theory
Practical: SQL 1

Week 2
Beyond Relational Database Management Systems
Practical: SQL 2

Week 3
Combining Spatial and Non-Spatial: Integrated Data Models and Oracle Spatial
Practical: Oracle Spatial

Week 4
Extending our Understanding of Spatial Data Models and Spatial Databases
Practical: Accessing Spatial objects from GIS and DB Designer Demonstration: Oracle Forms

Week 5
Alternative Spatial Extensions and Case Studies
Practical: Comparing DBMS (PostgreSQL, POSTGIS, MySQL)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand the benefits of formal database management and its implications and be able to predict future developments and understand the implications of standardisation efforts
  2. understand how database methods can be used to store spatial and attribute data in the context of geographical information systems, be able to critically review the different technologies and commercially-available models, assessing their merits and shortcomings and to understand the issue of performance in the context of database management
  3. understand the concepts of data modelling and be able to deconstruct real-world problems into appropriate models using appropriate tools
  4. use Structured Query Language (SQL) for the manipulation of objects within a relational database management system
  5. use and understand the Oracle relational database management system, Oracle Spatial as a means of storing and manipulating spatial data alongside attributes, and be able to contrast Oracle with different systems
Reading List
Please see current reading list for the course at:

Reading List (selected references)
- Date, C.J. (1995) An Introduction to Database Systems (7th edition) Addison-Wesley
- Egenhofer, M.J. (1992) Why not SQL! International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 6 (2), 71-86
- Kothuri, R.V., A. Godfrind and E.Beinat (2007) Pro Oracle Spatial for 11g, Apress
- Lake, R., D. Burggraf, M. Trninic and L. Rae (2004) Geography Mark-Up Language: Foundation for the Geo-Web, John Wiley & Sons
- Rigaux, P., Scholl, M. and Voisard, A. (2002) Spatial Databases with Application to GIS. Morgan Kaufmann
- Wachowicz, Monica (1999) Object-oriented design for temporal GIS. Taylor & Francis, London
- Worboys, M.F. and Duckham, M. (2004) GIS: A Computing Perspective. CRC Press, Second Edition
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPGGE11083,Database management,Oracle Spatial,SQL,data models
Course organiserMr Bruce Gittings
Tel: (0131 6)50 2558
Course secretaryDr Beata Kohlbek
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