Academic Track Paper

Are databases of any use in modern geoservices?


P. Baumann

Presenter Biography: 

Peter Baumann is Professor of Computer Science at Jacobs University Bremen where he is researching on large-scale multi-dimensional array databases, generally
on ""Big Data in Science"". Peter Baumann has coined the research field of Array Databases by introducing rigorous methods for storage and query support of massive multi-dimensional arrays in databases. This includes establishing the formal foundations through Array Algebra, architecting the worldwide first complete Array DBMS, rasdaman, applying rasdaman in Earth, Space, and Life Sciences, and - based on this experience - standardizing access interfaces for array query languages in OGC, ISA, and RDA.


Database systems is the technology established for giving users flexible, fast access to large, complex data holdings. In geo services, however, uptake of database technology is mixed: while it is considered useful for metadata, geo service builders resort to special-built solutions – not the least because classic databases do not support the data types encountered in geo sciences. However, driven by “Big Data” challenges, research in the various domains has made substantial progress: geo sciences better understand their complex data, and databases get enriched with new data types. Hence, it is time to revisit the status quo. In this paper we inspect relevant database technology to assess its usefulness for geo services. Starting point are OGC standards, as they represent consolidated, yet practice-proven requirements on service implementations. We claim that there important new building blocks are available, and point out current limitations. This way, the paper attempts to bridge gaps between normally disparate research fields, hopefully fostering cross-fertilization.

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