More SSIS and spatial, with an offer from SAFE Software

An offer from SAFE software, "The Spatial ETL Experts"

In my recent blog post where I mentioned some components and resources for using SSIS with geospatial data, naturally I mentioned the extensive set of custom components available from SAFE Software. I pointed out that their SSIS integration is only available as part of larger product packages. SAFE contacted me after that blog post, and invited me to share this offer of an extended free evaluation period with SSIS developers:

"Developers and evangelists are an important part of our success in spreading the word about FME to the market. As such, we do offer extended evals based on individual requests. If anyone is interested, they just need to email us at info@safe.com, tell us a little bit about what you're up to and we will work with you on the appropriate license timeframe."

I've had a pleasant email exchange with SAFE, and they're interested in learning more about the SSIS market, and working more effectively with us. Check out the screenshots, articles, and demos of their SSIS integration at http://www.safe.com/solutions/BIS/serverintegration.php.

Blogger Siddharth Mehta continues his series of posts

...concluding his series with a piece on the visualization of spatial data using SQL Server Reporting Services.

German blogger Tillman Eitelberg releases his ShapeFileSource project on Codeplex

In this German-language blog post (4/19/2010), Tillman announces the alpha release of his ShapeFileSource project on Codeplex.

After a few small improvements, I now have version 0.1 Alpha SSIS ShapeFileSource component published on CodePlex.

The component can currently read LINESTRING, POLYGON, and MULTI POLYGON shape files. If present, the attributes are loaded from the dBase data. Geospatial data are currently converted to the geometry data type and as DT_IMAGE in the data flow. There are some screenshots of the component on the project page. One screenshot shows examples of how the data can be saved with the script component.

Thanks to Siddharth for his help.

Translated by Bing, with human enhancement by my StreamInsight colleague Peter Zabback, without whom I would never have figured out that "thing-data" (Sachdaten) were "attributes."

More about the Spatial Data Flow Components on Codeplex

In my previous post, I also mentioned the the Spatial Data Flow Components written by SSIS product team member and developer Bob Bojanic. Since the Codeplex page provides a technical description of each component, but doesn't talk about use cases, I asked Bob to give me a few more words about the scenarios for using these components.

Component Technical description
on Codeplex
Additional info about
scenarios or use cases
Spatial Grid replicating rows with SqlGeometry data by cutting geometry object in pieces on a given grid I got the idea for this one from the Virtual Earth folks. They often break their objects up like this so they can present those smaller rectangles of a certain zoom level without loading the entire map.
Spatial Union aggregation of spatial data grouped by a regular column. The sample is simplified by requiring a sorted group by column. This one seems obvious. You can, for example, show the union of 3G coverage by making a union of local coverages. You can paint all the states that voted for Democrats. You can get the shape of the EU if you only have the shapes of its countries, and so forth.
Vector transformations applying series of transformations (translations, rotations and scaling), defined using simple expressions, on geometry objects contained in a SqlGeometry column. On the maps, I showed examples where I can move Alaska and Hawaii closer to the rest of the states so they can be presented on the same picture. It can also be used to rotate objects so they can be viewed differently, or scale them to fit on a screen, change the coordinate system, etc. I expect these to be more useful with non-map objects like floor plans, all kinds of drawings, product shapes, etc.

Getting started with spatial in SQL Server

Here's where I started: "Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008," by Alastair Aitchison.