Workshop on GIS in 4D and database management

June 4th, 2018, Published in Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

The Oracle Spatial and Graph special interest group met at the software company’s headquarters in Midrand on 22 May 2018 to share database management tools, tips and tricks. The interest group comprises various users of the Oracle Spatial and Graph component of the Oracle Database.

Geospace’s Susan Naudé gave a presentation on adding a time component to geospatial vector data using Oracle Workspace Manager, an out-of-the-box history keeping statement. (She recommended backing up a database before applying the statement.)

Victor Botlhokwane, Susan Naudé and Adrian Roos.

Victor Botlhokwane, Susan Naudé and Adrian Roos.

A time component, she said, is useful for change detection and predictions, among many other uses. In her work she uses it for checking past land ownership of properties next to road networks that span vast areas. Workspace Manager can also be used to view and roll back changes before publishing results, to support collaborative development (by serving as a workflow management system), or for creating multiple scenarios (e.g. what-if analyses).

Unfortunately, in many cases, vector database histories are seldom kept, and if it is, it is usually in the form of table/database snapshots, she explained. Enabling versioning by using the Oracle Workspace Manager adds new tables to a database. Once enabled, every change will be saved as a row in the database. Before enabling versioning, Naudé recommends users keep in mind the assigned database administrator roles, table structure, the referential integrity relationship, and the length of table names. She also said that GUID columns are not currently supported.

Privacy concerns also featured as a topic of discussion. Oracle’s Victor Botlhokwane spoke about the company’s privacy and security measures in light of the European GDPR privacy regulations which went into effect on 25 May 2018. He explained that the company takes a layered approach to data security by combining encryption of data, authentication of users, authorisation, auditing of database activity, monitoring and blocking of threats, security configurations and data masking. These measures, with the exception of spatial data redaction, applies to spatial databases too. He also reminded attendees that it is often at database backups where breaches occur.

Hexagon Geospatial’s Adrian Roos echoed the privacy concerns in his presentation on spatial law, which looked at example of how the use (or misuse) of geospatial data had legal implications.

Send your comments to positionit@ee.co.za