[Phpmyadmin-devel] Spatial Support Improvements for GSoC 2011

Liauw Jian Mei liauw at nus.edu.sg
Sat Mar 5 05:18:21 CET 2011

Liauw Jian Mei wrote:
> Greetings!
> My name is Frank Liauw, a second year going on to third year Computer
> Science student from the National University of Singapore.
> I am interested in contributing to the phpMyAdmin project over the coming
> summer, of which I have been a user for more than a decade.
> I've had much experience in web development and programming, and have
> contributed in terms of extension development for other open source
> projects
> of which I was actively working on, such as Moodle.
> I'm particularly interested in implementing OpenGIS support, as listed in
> the GSoC Idea List for the past 2 years (
> https://wiki.phpmyadmin.net/pma/GSoC_2011_Ideas_List#OpenGIS_support).
> I believe that this topic is of great relevance to me, as I am minoring in
> Geospatial Information Systems, and have experience with spatial analysis
> and databases, such as Geodatabase and shapefiles with ESRI ArcGIS.
> I've looked into the supported spatial features of both MySQL and
> phpMyAdmin, and have found that phpMyAdmin already supports creation of
> columns with MySQL supported spatial types as well as well known text
> (WKT)
> and well known blob (WKB) spatial functions.
> However, user input of spatial data is still very much textual
> with Backus-Naur grammar and is not sufficiently intuitive. It'd be
> interesting and useful to support graphical data input and spatial data
> representation with the following improvements:
>    1. Browser transformation to represent spatial data in a variety of
>    formats, such as an image with point/line/polygon or Google Maps with
>    overlay,
>    2. Spatial data entry with Google Map location pinning.
> Any comments or feedback will be much appreciated.
> Thank you for your time! =)
> Frank LIAUW
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> What You Don't Know About Data Connectivity CAN Hurt You
> This paper provides an overview of data connectivity, details
> its effect on application quality, and explores various alternative
> solutions. http://p.sf.net/sfu/progress-d2d
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Dear Michael and Piotr, 

Thank you very much for the feedback. 

Using OSM wouldn't be a problem, it'd be possible to allow the user to
choose which map provider to use as well using transformation options, as
users may want to view the overlays on different map providers. 

Vector graphics in the form of SVG is a much better option than bitmap
images, in terms of size,  implementation complexity and usability.

>From a personal perspective, the proposed spatial support improvements will
improve usability for  spatial data input and output. However, there is not
much spatial processing involved. An additional feature of contextualized
search operators to spatial operators may be useful. This will allow simple
spatial queries to be performed, such as searching for 'is point in polygon'
or 'is overlapping'. 
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