What's New in Oracle Spatial?

This section describes new and changed Oracle Spatial features for Oracle Database Release 11.

Release 11.2

The following are new and changed features for Oracle Spatial 11g Release 2 (11.2).

Index Maintenance Required Before and After Upgrade for WFS and CSW Data

If you are using Spatial Web Feature Service (WFS) or Catalog Services for the Web (CSW) support, and if you have data from a previous release that was indexed using one or more SYS.XMLTABLEINDEX indexes, you must drop the associated indexes before the upgrade and re-create the indexes after the upgrade.

For more information, see Section A.3.

New Spatial Aggregate Function

The following new spatial aggregate function has been added (spatial aggregate functions are documented in Chapter 20):

New SDO_GEOM Subprograms

The following new subprograms have been added to the SDO_GEOM package, which is documented in Chapter 24:

New SDO_UTIL Subprograms

The following new subprograms have been added to the SDO_UTIL package, which is documented in Chapter 32:

New SDO_WFS_LOCK Subprogram

The following new subprogram has been added to the SDO_WFS_LOCK package, which is documented in Chapter 33:

SDO_NN_DISTANCE Performance Improvement with FIRST_ROWS Hint

The implementation of the SDO_NN_DISTANCE ancillary operator has been changed to provide improved performance when you specify the FIRST_ROWS optimizer hint. For an example of using the FIRST_ROWS hint, see the SDO_NN_DISTANCE reference section in Chapter 19.

Support for Google Maps with Spatial Applications

Support for Google Maps with Oracle Spatial applications has been enhanced. Effective with Release, you can specify the new SRID 3857 instead of SRID 3785, which is convenient because you do not need to declare an EPSG rule or specify the USE_SPHERICAL use case name in order to produce Google-compatible results. Another option (effective with Release but less convenient than the preceding option) is to specify a use case name of USE_SPHERICAL with the SDO_CS.TRANSFORM function or the SDO_CS.TRANSFORM_LAYER procedure. Both of these options cause Spatial to use spherical math (used by Google Maps) instead of ellipsoidal math in its projections. For more information, see Section 6.12, "Google Maps Considerations".

Support for Workspace Manager with WFS

You can perform database transactions and Oracle Workspace Manager workspace maintenance operations in the same session with WFS transactions (WFS-T). In the previous release, only WFS queries from one or more workspaces were supported. For information about using WFS with Workspace Manager, see Section 15.5.

Cross-Endian Operations Supported for Transportable Tablespaces Containing Spatial Indexes

For the SDO_UTIL.INITIALIZE_INDEXES_FOR_TTS procedure (documented in Chapter 32), transportable tablespaces containing spatial indexes are now supported across endian format platforms (big-endian to little-endian, or little-endian to big-endian). They were not supported in the previous release.

Support for Very Large Geometries (More Than 1,048,576 Ordinates)

A new script is available if you need to support geometries with more than 1,048,576 ordinates; however, using that script involves significant extra work, some database downtime, and some considerations and restrictions. For information, see Section A.4.


Effective with Oracle Database Release 11.2, the SDO_UTIL.PREPARE_FOR_TTS procedure is deprecated. You do not need to call that procedure before performing a transportable tablespace export operation.


The GC_ADDRESS_POINT_<suffix> table (for example, GC_ADDRESS_POINT_US) stores the actual longitude, latitude coordinates for addresses. It therefore enables the Spatial Geocoder to provide more accurate location results when it is used. The GC_ADDRESS_POINT table is not required for geocoding; however, if this table exists, it is automatically used by the Geocoder for improved results. This table and its associated index are described in Section 11.5.1.

Release 11.1

The following are new and changed features for Oracle Spatial 11g Release 1 (11.1).

3-D Geometry Support

Oracle Spatial supports the creation and storage of three-dimensional geometry objects, as explained in Section 1.11.

Enhanced Web Services Support: Business Directory, Web Feature Service, Catalog Services, and OpenLS

Expanded support is provided for spatial Web services. A Web service enables developers of Oracle Spatial applications to provide feature data and metadata to their application users over the Web. Chapter 10 introduces the support for Web services and includes some overall requirements and considerations. The following chapters document new features that are supported through Web services:

Routing Engine Enhancements

The routing engine includes the following enhancements:

  • Per-maneuver times and geometries

  • Long ID support

  • Edge ID support at both the route level and segment level

  • Better generation of driving directions

The routing engine is described in Chapter 13.

SQL Multimedia Types

Support for the SQL Multimedia spatial types (ST_xxx) has been enhanced. These types are specified in ISO 13249-3, Information technology - Database languages - SQL Multimedia and Application Packages - Part 3: Spatial. The Oracle Spatial support for these types is described in Chapter 3.

Annotation Text

Oracle Spatial now supports annotation text as specified in the OpenGIS Implementation Specification for Geographic information - Simple feature access - Part 1: Common architecture. This support is described in Section 3.5.

DEFAULT Geocoding Match Mode Equivalent to RELAX_POSTAL_CODE

The DEFAULT match mode for geocoding operations is now equivalent to the RELAX_POSTAL_CODE mode. In the previous release, it was equivalent to the RELAX_BASE_NAME mode. The match modes for geocoding operations are explained Section 11.1.2.

New MatchVector Attribute for SDO_GEOR_ADDR

MatchVector has been added as the last attribute for the SDO_GEO_ADDR object type. This attribute is a string that indicates how each address attribute has been matched against the data used for geocoding. The MatchVector attribute is listed in Table 11-6 and is explained more fully in Section 11.1.5.


The new SDO_GEOM.SDO_CLOSEST_POINTS procedure (described in Chapter 24) computes the minimum distance between two geometries and the points (one on each geometry) that are the minimum distance apart.


The new SDO_UTIL.BEARING_TILT_FOR_POINTS procedure (described in Chapter 32) computes the bearing and tilt from a start point to an end point.

Filtering by Distance with the SDO_NN Operator

You can use the distance keyword in the param parameter to the SDO_NN operator (described in Chapter 19) to limit the distance in the search for nearest neighbors (for example, 'distance=10 unit=mile').