Last week I blogged about the rise in importance of location-based data. The timing was not a coincidence. I am a bit of a gadget freak and last week was a pretty important event in the world of gadgets and technology in general. For the first time ever Apple, a company specializing in mobile devices, became the largest technology company in the world, edging out Microsoft, a traditional computing company. Because pretty much every mobile device today comes with ability to capture location data, I am convinced that we are entering a stage where location data will become ubiquitous.
Another reason last week was important was Google Chrome v5 of the browser exiting beta. One of the really nifty surprises in this latest version of the Google browser is its ability to collect location data, with your permission of course, and have an application running in the browser use this location data to provide a better user experience by tailoring the content to your location.
I expect we will be seing a message that an application wants to track our physical location a lot more often.
Another reason for timing the post last week had quite a bit to do with DB2. We just released a new version fo DB2, version 9.7.2. It is a minor release but it does have some really nice functionality in addition to just quality improvements. If you have not downloaded it yet, take a few minutes to get and install free DB2 Express-C v9.7.2. And while you are getting DB2 Express-C (did I mention it is free?) also get the free DB2 Spatial Extender. DB2 Spatial Extender is a clever free addition to the DB2 server that makes DB2 able to store location-based data and query the data based on location, proximity, distances etc. Version 9.7.2 has additional enhancements for the DB2 Spatial Extender when using it in partitioned database environments (DPF).
Consider a situation where you are faced with organizing rescue and public safety efforts in Guatemala City after the devastating tropical storm Agatha. You are going to want to figure out natural gas, electricity and water infrastructure affected by this giant sinkhole. You are going to want dispatch police and other first response units from proper districts. DB2 can help, via a standard SQL query, find every water supply line that is affected, every live power line and gas line that needs to be shutdown to prevent further damage and loss of life.
To learn how to enable DB2 for processing spatial data, tune in to the Chat with the Lab that was recorded last week and learn from David Adler, an expert in the field of spatial data and DB2.