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Analyze states and territories

By Vitaliy Rudnytskiy

Analyze states and territories with SAP HANA Geospatial at SAPPHIRENOW 2018.


You will learn

  • How to use SAP HANA to analyze data from Shapefiles

Step 1: Natural Earth data

Natural Earth website is one of the most popular resources of open geodata.

One of these files – Admin 1 (States, provinces) administrative boundaries in scale 1:50m – has been imported into "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states" table, but only for the USA and Canada.

Preview Admin 1

Again, geographical shapes of states and provinces are stored in the column "SHAPE" with SRID = 1000004326, i.e. planar projection.

Step 2: Borderline of Florida

Let’s take Florida as an example. What is a total length of the state’s borderline?

select "SHAPE".ST_SRID(4326).ST_Perimeter() as "Borderline"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states"
where "iso_3166_2"='US-FL';
FL border in meters

What just happened?

  1. You used spatial method ST_Perimeter() to calculate the length of the perimeter of a multi-surface.
  2. Before doing that you converted a shape from a flat plane (as it is stored using SRID 1000004326) to a shape on the Round Earth model 4326 to produce the most precise result.
  3. The result 3875857,373022288 is the length in meters, as meter is the default linear unit of measure defined for SRID = 4326.

Let’s check if you can calculate the perimeter in miles. The table "PUBLIC"."ST_UNITS_OF_MEASURE" stores definitions of spatial units of measures, and is a part of the geospatial content in SAP HANA.

select * from "PUBLIC"."ST_UNITS_OF_MEASURE"
where unit_name like '%mile%';
miles in UoM

Let’s recalculate the borderline in US survey miles, but rounded.

select round("SHAPE".ST_SRID(4326).ST_Perimeter('US survey mile')) as "Borderline"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states"
where "iso_3166_2"='US-FL'
Borderline in miles
Step 3: Area of Florida

To calculate the area of the geography, you need to convert it to the planar projection. Unfortunately, every projection of Round Earth or its fragments on a flat surface is introducing some distortion.

select round("SHAPE".ST_Transform(3857).ST_Area('US survey mile')) as "Area"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states" a
where "iso_3166_2"='US-FL';
Area on web maps

What just happened?

  1. SRS 3857 is the spatial reference system used by online web maps, like OpenStreetMap, Google Maps, Bing Maps etc.
  2. It is a projection for the whole globe. And because it is based on the so called Mercator projection, distances are significantly increasing the further from Equator the geography is located.

You need to use a projection with the least distortion for the area you are processing. Local projections are being used for higher precision, like SRS 3513 for Florida.

select round("SHAPE".ST_Transform(3513).ST_Area('US survey mile')) as "Area"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states" a
where "iso_3166_2"='US-FL';
Area on local projection

Unfortunately, it is still not precise measurement, as the details of shapes loaded from the original file are rather rough. You can see it on the visualizations comparing complete state …

Complete state of FL

… to a zoomed area.

Zoomed area of FL
Step 4: Coastline of Florida

Let’s calculate a geometry that is a coastline of Florida. This example shows the use of a spatial set operations and aggregations.

with "FL_Boarder" as
(select "SHAPE".ST_Boundary() as "SHAPE"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states" a
where "iso_3166_2"='US-FL'),

"FL_LandBoarder" as
(select ST_unionAggr(b."SHAPE".ST_Intersection(c."SHAPE")) as "SHAPE"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states" b
join "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states" c on 1=1
where 'US-FL' <> c."iso_3166_2"
and b."iso_3166_2" = 'US-FL')

select m."SHAPE".ST_Difference(n."SHAPE").st_asWKT()
"FL_Boarder" m,
"FL_LandBoarder" n;

The result is a collection of string lines …

Coastline result

… which visualized looks like this.

Coastline visualized

What just happened?

  1. You used with clause in SELECT statement to specify an output of subqueries to be stored in two temporary result sets: "FL_Boarder" and "FL_LandBoarder".
  2. For "FL_Boarder" you used a ST_Boundary() spatial method to return the boundary of the geometry representing the state of Florida.
  3. For "FL_LandBoarder" you used a spatial aggregation ST_unionAggr() to calculate the spatial union of all of the borders of Florida with other states on land. Same as in exercise with country borders you used ST_Intersection() to calculate line strings representing those land boarders.
  4. At the end you used a spatial set method ST_Difference() to calculate a geometry that represents difference of two geometries above. The spatial difference between a total boundary of Florida and its borders on land gave you the coastline - exactly what we needed to calculate in this step.
Step 5: Calculate US-Canadian border

In tables, you only have shapes of states and provinces. Can we calculate the Canada–United States border based on this? Sure, with the help of spatial aggregates and set operations again!

select ST_UnionAggr(us.shape.ST_Intersection(ca.shape)) as "Border"
from "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states"  us
join "NATURAL_EARTH"."ne_50m_admin_1_states"  ca
 on 1=1
where us."iso_a2" in ('US') and ca."iso_a2" in ('CA');

And visualized.

US-Canada border

What just happened?

  1. The query is similar to a subquery from previous step, it is just now you selected only states of the USA for one side of a join and only provinces of Canada for the other side.
  2. The spatial union aggregation of the intersections of these geometries in the join gave you the total land boarder between two countries.

Updated 06/03/2018

Time to Complete

5 Min

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