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New GIS Features in MySQL 5.7

mariadb, mysql, percona

MySQL 5.7 introduces the following major improvements and features for GIS:

  • Spatial indexes for InnoDB. Finally it is here! This was a long overdue feature, which also prevented * many companies from converting all tables to InnoDB.
  • st_distance_sphere: native function to calculate a distance between two points on earth. Finally it is * here as well! Like many others, I’ve created my stored procedure to calculate the distance between points * on earth using haversine formula. The native function is ~20x faster than the stored procedure (in an * artificial benchmark, see below). This is not surprising, as stored procedures are slow computationally – * especially for trigonometrical functions.
  • New functions: GeoHash and GeoJSON. With GeoJSON we can generate the results that are ready for * visualizing on Google Maps.
  • New GIS implementation based on Boost.Geometry library. This is great news, as originally GIS was * implemented independently from scratch with a very limited set of features. Manyi Lu from MySQL server * team provides more reasoning behind the choice of Boost.Geometry.