Feeds

Back to basics for SQL Server 2008

Hand feeding

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Project Watch: Microsoft 2008 When I asked: "How do we convert more than 12,000 location items - by hand?" we had almost completed the process as part of our move to Microsoft's up-coming SQL Server 2008. The question was, in fact, rhetorical. Nevertheless, we received a lot of advice and suggestions from Reg Dev readers. This, for example, from AlanGriffiths:

"Almost (sic) address validation software should get you most of the way, the postal address file the rest. (And there are plenty of companies that will do the job for you at a reasonable price....)"

This was a complex problem. The bulk of the original data was easy to convert by automated process, so we did. Post-coded data, within reason, is straightforward. The problem lay, as it usually does, with the exceptions. Location data included:

  • Streatley Hill, Berkshire
  • Clayhithe, Cambridgeshire
  • Yalta, Crimea
  • Causey Pike Gill, Cumberland

There was simply no list of these place names with their co-ordinates, so we ultimately solved the problem by throwing human intelligence at it. One of our intelligent human converters explains how she worked:

"Online gazetteers were very helpful, especially the Ordnance Survey one, as were those for Welsh and Scottish place names. Where places remained elusive, searching the web often provided clues in such varied places as a list of repairs to railway bridges, hill walkers' blogs and even an illustrated mythical story. With the location pinned down, the latitude and longitude could be read from MapPoint or Google Earth, both of which use the all-important WGS84 datum. At the time of writing, some still elude us - like Old Park Pool on Anglesey and Pleasby Wood in Nottinghamshire."

If anyone is familiar with either Old Park Pool or Pleasby Wood, please do let me know.

Happily this is a one-time conversion, and subsequent data is likely to be algorithmically convertible.

Another part picked on last time by readers was the fact that, during our move to SQL Server 2008, we were using text indicators (N,S,E,W) rather than using signed decimals for the spatial data.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.