Spatial Data in SQL Server

I was reading this article on ViaWindowsLive the other day about the new spatial data types in SQL Server 2008:

http://www.viawindowslive.com/Articles/VirtualEarth/SQL2008Spatialafirstimpression.aspx

My first thoughts were of how cruddy the syntax of the spatial functions looked:

  • geography::STGeomFromText
  • geography::STGeomFromText
  • @h.STIntersects(@g)
  • and so on

I know that the classname::methodname is synonymous with CLR functions in SQL Server, but what’s with the ‘ST’ prefix, and what the heck does it stand for?

I asked internal our knower of all things SQL Server, Greg Low – who wasn’t actually sure himself.  So he asked a fellow SQL friend who came back with the following response:

“The ST in the prefix of the spatial method comes from the standardization effort… It used to stand for Spatio-Temporal, but the SQL/MM standard decided to not work on temporal aspects. So you can interpret it as “Spatial Type” or “STandard” functions ;-).

(source for the history: http://doesen0.informatik.uni-leipzig.de/proceedings/paper/68.pdf) “

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~ by D on November 27, 2007.

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