vmx

the blllog.

FOSS4G 2009: I'm speaking

2009-07-21 22:27

I did it! I'll speak on the FOSS4G Conference 2009 (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial Conference), 20th–23rd October in Sydney about “CouchDB and Geodata”. More information is available at the official website.

Categories: en, CouchDB, geo

List function editing in Futon

2009-07-19 22:27

Futon is the graphical administration interface for CouchDB. It’s nice and slick for browsing and editing views, but there is one feature missing: you can’t edit _list functions in similar fashion. You need to edit them as JSON strings.

As I wanted to play a bit with _list, I’ve created a branch which implements such an interface. Its usage should be quite self-explanatory. Just select a _view, from there you can switch to the "List" tab to create or edit a _list function.

You can get my futon-list branch at GitHub. Instead of using git, you can also download the share/wwww directory (click on the download button within the ‘share/www’ directory) and unpack it over your current source.

In case you wonder why your _list function doesn’t work, the API has changed for CouchDB 0.10.

Screenshot of the _list interface in Futon

Screenshot of the _list interface in Futon

Categories: en, CouchDB, JavaScript

Poor man’s bounding box queries with CouchDB

2009-07-19 22:27

Several people store geographical points within CouchDB and would like to make a bounding box query on them. This isn’t possible with plain CouchDB _views. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. One solution will be GeoCouch (which can do a lot more than simple bounding box queries), once there’s a new release, the other one is already there: you can use a the list/show API (Warning: the current wiki page (as at 2009-07-19) applies to CouchDB 0.9, I use the new 0.10 API).

You can either add a _list function as described in the documentation or use my futon-list branch which includes an interface for easier _list function creation/editing.

Your data

The _list function needs to match your data, thus I expect documents with a field named location which contains an array with the coordinates. Here’s a simple example document:


{
   "_id": "00001aef7b72e90b991975ef2a7e1fa7",
   "_rev": "1-4063357886",
   "name": "Augsburg",
   "location": [
       10.898333,
       48.371667
   ],
   "some extra data": "Zirbelnuss"
}

The _list function

We aim at creating a _list function that returns the same response as a normal _view would return, but filtered with a bounding box. Let’s start with a _list function which returns the same results as plain _view (no bounding box filtering, yet). The whitespaces of the output differ slightly.

function(head, req) {
    var row, sep = '\n';

    // Send the same Content-Type as CouchDB would
    if (req.headers.Accept.indexOf('application/json')!=-1)
      start({"headers":{"Content-Type" : "application/json"}});
    else
      start({"headers":{"Content-Type" : "text/plain"}});

    send('{"total_rows":' + head.total_rows +
         ',"offset":'+head.offset+',"rows":[');
    while (row = getRow()) {
        send(sep + toJSON(row));
        sep = ',\n';
    }
    return "\n]}";
};

The _list API allows to you add any arbitrary query string to the URL. In our case that will be bbox=west,south,east,north (adapted from the OpenSearch Geo Extension). Parsing the bounding box is really easy. The query parameters of the request are stored in the property req.query as key/value pairs. Get the bounding box, split it into separate values and compare it with the values of every row.

var row, location, bbox = req.query.bbox.split(',');
while (row = getRow()) {
    location = row.value.location;
    if (location[0]>bbox[0] && location[0]<bbox[2] &&
            location[1]>bbox[1] && location[1]<bbox[3]) {
        send(sep + toJSON(row));
        sep = ',\n';
    }
}

And finally we make sure that no error message is thrown when the bbox query parameter is omitted. Here’s the final result:

function(head, req) {
    var row, bbox, location, sep = '\n';

    // Send the same Content-Type as CouchDB would
    if (req.headers.Accept.indexOf('application/json')!=-1)
      start({"headers":{"Content-Type" : "application/json"}});
    else
      start({"headers":{"Content-Type" : "text/plain"}});

    if (req.query.bbox)
        bbox = req.query.bbox.split(',');

    send('{"total_rows":' + head.total_rows +
         ',"offset":'+head.offset+',"rows":[');
    while (row = getRow()) {
        location = row.value.location;
        if (!bbox || (location[0]>bbox[0] && location[0]<bbox[2] &&
                      location[1]>bbox[1] && location[1]<bbox[3])) {
            send(sep + toJSON(row));
            sep = ',\n';
        }
    }
    return "\n]}";
};

An example how to access your _list function would be: http://localhost:5984/geodata/_design/designdoc/_list/bbox/viewname?bbox=10,0,120,90&limit=10000

Now you should be able to filter any of your point clouds with a bounding box. The performance should be alright for a reasonable number of points. A usual use-case would something like displaying a few points on a map, where you don’t want to see zillions of them anyway.

Stay tuned for a follow-up posting about displaying points with OpenLayers.

Categories: en, CouchDB, JavaScript, geo

By Volker Mische

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