Published December 11, 2017 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

SQL versus NoSQL Databases for Geospatial Applications

  • 1. Politecnico di Torino
  • 2. Istituto Superiore Mario Boella


In the last years, we are witnessing an increasing availability of geolocated data, ranging from satellite images to
user generated content (e.g., tweets). This big amount of data is exploited by several cloud-based applications to deliver effective and customized services to end users. In order to provide a good user experience, a low-latency response time is needed, both when data are retrieved and provided. To achieve this goal, current geospatial applications need to exploit efficient and scalable geospatial databases, the choice of which has a high impact on the overall performance of the deployed applications. In this paper, we compare, from a qualitative point of view, four state-of-the-art SQL and NoSQL databases with geospatial features, and then we analyze the performances of two of them, selecting the ones based on the Database-as-a-service (DBaaS) model: Azure SQL Database and Azure DocumentDB (i.e., an SQL database versus a NoSQL one). The empirical evaluation shows pros and cons of both solutions and it is performed on a real use case related to an emergency management application.


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I-REACT – Improving Resilience to Emergencies through Advanced Cyber Technologies 700256
European Commission