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1. Welcome


Welcome! It's great to have you here with us. In this course, we'll be teaching you how to get the most out of your database in terms of map-related calculations. Are you looking for the 20 nearest hospitals from a given point? Wondering how to calculate the total area of all parks in your city? Or perhaps pondering over the distance between two capitals? These are all questions for which spatial databases can help you find answers.

For the purposes of this course, we'll use PostgreSQL and its spatial extension - PostGIS. You'll get to know the most important spatial functions and how to use them. Even if you use another DBMS (Database Management System) and different spatial extension (e.g. MySQL spatial extensions), the core fundamentals should be the same, even though the names of particular functions could differ. The reason for that is simple - all of the popular DBMSs implement a standard set out by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). This course will help you to understand how to use the spatial functions. With thorough understanding of PostGIS it should be easy for you to apply this knowledge in different DBMS.

Exciting as it all may seem, we first have to check if you're up to the challenge. After all, we won't be teaching all the basic SQL-related topics from scratch. You don't need to know everything about SQL, of course, and we assume you have absolutely no experience with spatial databases. Still, things such as selecting, filtering or grouping rows are a must. This quiz will check whether your knowledge is sufficient to get going.


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