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SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere 16.0 » SQL Anywhere Server - Spatial Data Support


Spatial data

Spatial data is data that describes the position, shape, and orientation of objects in a defined space. Spatial data in SQL Anywhere is represented as 2D geometries in the form of points, curves (line strings and strings of circular arcs), and polygons. For example, the following image shows the state of Massachusetts, representing the union of polygons representing zip code regions.

Image showing Massachusetts broken into colorful polygons, with each polygon representing a zip code region.

Two common operations performed on spatial data are calculating the distance between geometries, and determining the union or intersection of multiple objects. These calculations are performed using predicates such as intersects, contains, and crosses.

The spatial data documentation assumes you already have some familiarity with spatial reference systems and with the spatial data you intend to work with. If you do not, links to additional reading material can be found here: Recommended reading on spatial topics.


Spatial data support for 32-bit Windows and 32-bit Linux requires a CPU that supports SSE2 instructions. This support is available with Intel Pentium 4 or later (released in 2001) and AMD Opteron or later (released in 2003).

 Example of how spatial data might be used
 See also

Spatial reference systems (SRS) and Spatial reference identifiers (SRID)
Units of measure
SQL Anywhere support for spatial data
Recommended reading on spatial topics
Creating a spatial column (Sybase Central)
Creating a spatial column (SQL)
Indexes on spatial columns
Spatial data type syntax
How to create geometries
Viewing spatial data as images (Interactive SQL)
Viewing spatial data as images (Spatial Viewer)
Loading spatial data from a Well Known Text (WKT) file
Creating a unit of measure
Creating a spatial reference system
Advanced spatial topics
Tutorial: Experimenting with the spatial features