C Complex Spatial Queries: Examples
This appendix provides examples, with explanations, of queries that are more complex than the examples in the reference chapters.
This appendix focuses on operators that are frequently used in Spatial and Graph applications, such as SDO_WITHIN_DISTANCE and SDO_NN.
This appendix is based on input from Oracle personnel who provide support and training to Spatial and Graph users. The Oracle Spatial and Graph training course covers many of these examples, and provides additional examples and explanations.
Before you use any of the examples in this appendix, be sure you understand the usage and reference information for the relevant operator or function in Conceptual and Usage Information and Reference Information .
C.1 Tables Used in the Examples
The examples in this appendix refer to tables named GEOD_CITIES, GEOD_COUNTIES, and GEOD_INTERSTATES, which are defined as follows:
CREATE TABLE GEOD_CITIES( LOCATION SDO_GEOMETRY, CITY VARCHAR2(42), STATE_ABRV VARCHAR2(2), POP90 NUMBER, RANK90 NUMBER); CREATE TABLE GEOD_COUNTIES( COUNTY_NAME VARCHAR2(40), STATE_ABRV VARCHAR2(2), GEOM SDO_GEOMETRY); CREATE TABLE GEOD_INTERSTATES( HIGHWAY VARCHAR2(35), GEOM SDO_GEOMETRY);
C.2 SDO_WITHIN_DISTANCE Examples
The SDO_WITHIN_DISTANCE operator identifies the set of spatial objects that are within some specified distance of a given object. You can indicate that the distance is approximate or exact. If you specify querytype=FILTER
, the distance is approximate because only a primary filter operation is performed; otherwise, the distance is exact because both primary and secondary filtering operations are performed.
Example C1 Finding All Cities Within a Distance of a Highway
Example C1 finds all cities within 15 miles of the interstate highway I170.
SELECT /*+ ORDERED */ c.city FROM geod_interstates i, geod_cities c WHERE i.highway = 'I170' AND sdo_within_distance ( c.location, i.geom, 'distance=15 unit=mile') = 'TRUE';
Example C1 finds all cities within 15 miles ('distance=15 unit=mile'
) of the specified highway (i.highway = 'I170'
), and by default the result is exact (because the querytype
parameter was not used to limit the query to a primary filter operation). In the WHERE
clause of this example:

i.highway
refers to the HIGHWAY column of the INTERSTATES table, andI170
is a value from the HIGHWAY column. 
c.location
specifies the search column (geometry1
). This is the LOCATION column of the GEOD_CITIES table. 
i.geom
specifies the query window (aGeom
). This is the spatial geometry in the GEOM column of the GEOD_INTERSTATES table, in the row whose HIGHWAY column contains the valueI170
.
Example C2 Finding All Highways Within a Distance of a City
Example C2 finds all interstate highways within 15 miles of the city of Tampa.
SELECT /*+ ORDERED */ i.highway FROM geod_cities c, geod_interstates i WHERE c.city = 'Tampa' AND sdo_within_distance ( i.geom, c.location, 'distance=15 unit=mile') = 'TRUE';
Example C2 finds all highways within 15 miles ('distance=15 unit=mile'
) of the specified city (c.city = 'Tampa'
), and by default the result is exact (because the querytype
parameter was not used to limit the query to a primary filter operation). In the WHERE
clause of this example:

c.city
refers to the CITY column of the GEOD_CITIES table, andTampa
is a value from the CITY column. 
i.geom
specifies the search column (geometry1
). This is the GEOM column of the GEOD_INTERSTATES table. 
c.location
specifies the query window (aGeom
). This is the spatial geometry in the LOCATION column of the GEOD_CITIES table, in the row whose CITY column contains the valueTampa
.
C.3 SDO_NN Examples
The SDO_NN operator determines the nearest neighbor geometries to a geometry. No assumptions should be made about the order of the returned results, unless you specify the SDO_NN_DISTANCE ancillary operator in the ORDER BY clause to have the results returned in distance order. If you specify no optional parameters, one nearest neighbor geometry is returned.
If you specify the optional sdo_num_res
keyword, you can request how many nearest neighbors you want, but no other conditions in the WHERE clause are evaluated. For example, assume that you want the five closest banks from an intersection, but only where the bank name is CHASE
. If the five closest banks are not named CHASE
, SDO_NN with sdo_num_res=5
will return no rows because the sdo_num_res
keyword only takes proximity into account, and not any other conditions in the WHERE clause.
If you specify the optional sdo_batch_size
keyword, any sdo_num_res
specification is ignored, and SDO_NN keeps returning neighbor geometries in distance order to the WHERE clause. If the WHERE clause specifies bank_name = 'CHASE' AND rownum < 6
, you can return the five closest banks with bank_name = 'CHASE'
.
SDO_NN_DISTANCE is an ancillary operator to the SDO_NN operator. It returns the distance of an object returned by the SDO_NN operator and is valid only within a call to the SDO_NN operator.
See also Example 51in Using Partitioned Spatial Indexes.
Example C3 Finding the Cities Nearest to a Highway
Example C3 finds the five cities nearest to the interstate highway I170 and the distance in miles from the highway for each city, ordered by distance in miles.
SELECT /*+ ORDERED */ c.city, sdo_nn_distance (1) distance_in_miles FROM geod_interstates i, geod_cities c WHERE i.highway = 'I170' AND sdo_nn(c.location, i.geom, 'sdo_num_res=5 unit=mile', 1) = 'TRUE' ORDER BY distance_in_miles;
In Example C3, because the /*+ ORDERED*/
optimizer hint is used, it is important to have an index on the GEOD_INTERSTATES.HIGHWAY column. In this example, the hint forces the query to locate highway I170 before it tries to find nearest neighbor geometries. In the WHERE
clause of this example:

i.highway
refers to the HIGHWAY column of the GEOD_INTERSTATES table, andI170
is a value from the HIGHWAY column. 
c.location
specifies the search column (geometry1
). This is the LOCATION column of the GEOD_CITIES table. 
i.geom
specifies the query window (geometry2
). This is the spatial geometry in the GEOM column of the GEOD_INTERSTATES table, in the row whose HIGHWAY column contains the valueI170
. 
sdo_num_res=5
specifies how many nearest neighbor geometries to find. 
unit=mile
specifies the unit of measurement to associate with distances returned by the SDO_NN_DISTANCE ancillary operator. 
1
(insdo_nn_distance (1)
and'sdo_num_res=5 unit=mile', 1
) is thenumber
parameter value that associates the call to SDO_NN with the call to SDO_NN_DISTANCE.
In Example C3, ORDER BY distance_in_miles
orders the results from the WHERE clause by distance in miles.
The statement in Example C3 produces the following output (slightly reformatted for readability):
CITY DISTANCE_IN_MILES   St Louis 5.36297295 Springfield 78.7997464 Peoria 141.478022 Evansville 158.22422 Springfield 188.508631
Example C4 Finding the Cities Above a Specified Population Nearest to a Highway
Example C4 extends Example C3 by limiting the results to cities with a 1990 population over a certain number. It finds the five cities nearest to the interstate highway I170 that have a population greater than 300,000, the 1990 population for each city, and the distance in miles from the highway for each city, ordered by distance in miles.
SELECT /*+ ORDERED NO_INDEX(c pop90_idx) */ c.city, pop90, sdo_nn_distance (1) distance_in_miles FROM geod_interstates i, geod_cities c WHERE i.highway = 'I170' AND sdo_nn(c.location, i.geom, 'sdo_batch_size=10 unit=mile', 1) = 'TRUE' AND c.pop90 > 300000 AND rownum < 6 ORDER BY distance_in_miles;
In Example C4, because the ORDERED
optimizer hint is used, it is important to have an index on the GEOD_INTERSTATES.HIGHWAY column. In this example, the hint forces the query to locate highway I170 before it tries to find nearest neighbor geometries.
To ensure correct results, disable all nonspatial indexes on columns that come from the same table as the SDO_NN search column (geometry1
). In this example, the NO_INDEX(c pop90_idx)
optimizer hint disables the nonspatial index on the POP90 column.
In the WHERE
clause of this example:

sdo_batch_size=10
causes geometries to be returned continually (in distance order, in batches of 10 geometries), to be checked to see if they satisfy the other conditions in the WHERE clause. 
c.pop90 > 300000
restricts the results to rows where the POP90 column value is greater than 300000. 
rownum < 6
limits the number of results returned to five.
In Example C4, ORDER BY distance_in_miles
orders the results from the WHERE clause by distance in miles.
The statement in Example C4 produces the following output (slightly reformatted for readability):
CITY POP90 DISTANCE_IN_MILES    St Louis 396685 5.36297295 Kansas City 435146 227.404883 Indianapolis 741952 234.708666 Memphis 610337 244.202072 Chicago 2783726 253.547961