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Chapter 18. Spatial Extensions

MySQL supports spatial extensions to allow the generation, storage, and analysis of geographic features. These features are available for MyISAM, InnoDB, NDB, BDB, and ARCHIVE tables. (However, the ARCHIVE engine does not support indexing, so spatial columns in ARCHIVE columns cannot be indexed. MySQL Cluster also does not support indexing of spatial columns.)

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • The basis of these spatial extensions in the OpenGIS geometry model

  • Data formats for representing spatial data

  • How to use spatial data in MySQL

  • Use of indexing for spatial data

  • MySQL differences from the OpenGIS specification

Additional resources

  • The Open Geospatial Consortium publishes the OpenGIS® Simple Features Specifications For SQL, a document that proposes several conceptual ways for extending an SQL RDBMS to support spatial data. This specification is available from the OGC Web site at

  • If you have questions or concerns about the use of the spatial extensions to MySQL, you can discuss them in the GIS forum:

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire