Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Travels in a digital world

Hypercubes, Snowflakes, and Maps of Course

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There have been a couple of announcements recently about marrying Business Intelligence Suites with Mapping- which all sound really exciting, though I’m still a little hazy about exactly what these olap hypercubes are, with their snowflake schema and other such nonsense important sounding things. Immature comments aside, I’m yet to be convinced of the advantages over a standard relational approach. I am, however, keen to understand the Geo BI offerings, as I think they could be key in persuading people in management positions of the real value and power of online mapping. At the moment I find it hard to evaluate the different approaches, so I need to spend some time setting them both up (reports will follow).

Similarly, via the antiquist list and All Points Blog, we hear about a Linked Geodata Browser for Open Street Map. Go to the APB post for the details, as reading the documentation sent me down a wikipedia rabbit-hole, again revisiting olap and his hypercubes. In this case, it’s not so much the drilling down through the dimensions of the data that interests me, though that’s mighty cool, but the RESTful interface that they have added. My experience of REST so far is limited to chapter 1 of the O’Reilly Book and dabbling a bit with Featureserver, but I like what I see (and I’m impatient to see the MapGuide Open Source REST extension too). Call me simplistic if you want, but I like the inherent “linkiness” of it all and I’ll keep paddling in the shallow water until I can take my waterwings off…