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SQL Anywhere 12.0.0 (Français) » SQL Anywhere Server - Spatial Data Support » Getting started with spatial data » Introduction to spatial data


Flat-Earth and round-Earth representations

SQL Anywhere supports both flat-Earth and round-Earth representations. Flat-Earth spatial reference systems represent the entire Earth on a flat, two dimensional plane (planar), and use a simple 2D Euclidean geometry. Lines between points are straight (except for circular strings), and geometries cannot wrap over the edge (cross the dateline).

Round-Earth spatial reference systems use an ellipsoid to represent the Earth. Points are mapped to the ellipsoid for computations, all lines follow the shortest path and arc toward the pole, and geometries can cross the date line.

Both flat-Earth and round-Earth representations have their limitations. There is not a single ideal map projection that best represents all features of the Earth, and depending on the location of an object on the Earth, distortions may affect its area, shape, distance, or direction.

 Limitations of round-Earth spatial reference systems
 Limitations of flat-Earth spatial reference systems