Feeds

Back to basics for SQL Server 2008

Hand feeding

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.