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Oracle's Best at Location, Location, Location: Report

Oracle Corporation was crowned this week by International Data Corporation (IDC) as the reigning king in the global geospatial database management market.

IDC's report "Spatial Information Management: Competitive Analysis, 2002," predicts that the geospatial database market is on the cusp of an explosion and that within the next few years, basic spatial information management (SIM) capabilities will be commonplace in database, application server, and data access technology.

The report released Wednesday also outlines the new SIM market structure and presents a competitive analysis of the top players.

"The SIM software industry is being reshaped by broad spatially enabled database management and data access capabilities that are emerging across the IT industry," states IDC. "This new market structure will present SIM vendors with significant opportunities to add value to information systems and to exploit new markets.

At present, according to IDC, Oracle is the only vendor to offer customers a location-enabled database, application server and tools designed for mainstream IT developers and database administrators. Microsoft is currently making a big showing in the SIM category with its MapPoint product. However, Oracle currently holds 80-90 percent of the SIM database installation market.

"Oracle's development effort will help foundation-level geospatial technology become commonplace," said David Sonnen, a senior consultant for IDC.

In its report, IDC credits Oracle as not only having grounded itself securely in this up-and-coming market, but also for having the foresight to begin building spatial and location-enabled database technology.

According to IDC, the Oracle9i Database is an example of built-in spatial and location features that allow applications to access geospatial data, store, index, query location relationships, and manage location content using the power of the database.

The Oracle Locator and Oracle Spatial add additional spatial features that enable database applications to long transactions, store index vector geometries, perform length and area calculations, and perform coordinate systems transformations.

"Only Oracle provides the location-based capabilities and infrastructure necessary to meet these demands as part of every database we deliver," said Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database server technologies at Oracle Corporation.

IDC's report on the geospatial database management market was based on findings and analysis of vendor financial statements, census interviews, public information and demand-side research.