Thursday, November 20, 2014

Software Used in Spatial

When I do webcasts and presentations on OBIEE and Spatial Analytics people often ask me, "What software do I need to make all this work?"

1) Oracle Database with either Locator Option or Spatial and Graph Option.  

OBIEE MapViews only work with an Oracle Database for the map metadata so you will need and Oracle Database.  All three versions will support basic map views for use within OBIEE
  • XE (Express Edition) - Locator
  • Standard Edition - Locator
  • Enterprise Edition - Locator and Spatial
More information can be found on the Oracle Spatial and Graph product page or the Oracle Spatial and Graph OTN Page.

2) Oracle MapBuilder
This Java application is used to create map themes and map styles.   In simple terms, themes can be then used to create Base Maps and then Tile Layers can be created from the Base Maps.  MapBuilder can also be used to upload Shapefiles into the Oracle Database.

3) Oracle MapViewer
This web service which is deployed in Weblogic with the OBIEE installation.  This service is used to project the map. In our case as a view within OBIEE where tabular data is "mashed" with spatial data.  MapViewer also manages the connectivity to the Oracle database and provides access to other map meta data management.  Map Editor is also launched from within MapViewer.

4) OBIEE Presentation Server (OBIPS)
Accessed via Administration link from within OBIEE web for user with BI Administrator role.  From the Administration page go to Map Data Management > Manage Map Data.  This will allow the Map Layers (Themes) and Background Maps (Tile Layers) to be linked to OBIEE Subject Areas and available for Map Views.

5) Oracle SQL Developer

  • SQL Developer 3.x supports a 3rd party plug-in GeoRaptor.  This plug-in allows for additional development tasks related to spatial data management.
  • SQL Developer 4.x does not support GeoRaptor. 

Both can be used to create Spatial Index and Update Spatial Metadata.

I will be writing on each of these in the weeks and months to come as I walk through the process of integrating Maps within OBIEE.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Map Visualizations

I have read a number of posts related to effective visualizations and one stat that is repeated over and over again is...
The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text

If that is true then why do we continue to produce reports that have a geographic dimension in a tabular format? Why not include that data on a map?

In 2011 I read the article Putting Business Intelligence on the Map by Mark Rittman, this article motivated me to learn more about Spatial Analytics.

In OBIEE Analysis Results there is a Map View and in the OBI Sample App available from OTN there are numerous examples of Map Views.  I enjoy working with map views in OBIEE, however they can be a bit intimidating for some people and often difficult to find a starting point.

In the posts to follow I will focus on how to get started with Map Views.  My posts will cover the following and as each post becomes available these bullets will become links.  

Of course I may deviate from this list a bit and post on other topics but this list will help keep me focused.


The idea of a blog related to my work has been in the back of my mind for quite some time. 

Then somewhere else in my mind I get these thoughts:
  • What am I going to write about?
  • Do I have something to share that has not already been blogged about by someone else?
  • How do I differentiate myself from the rest of the pack?
  • and many more
As illustrated above I prefer to work in bullets and pictures rather than paragraphs when I write. 

So how can I make this blog work in my preferred style of conveying an idea...

I prefer to read blogs that show how to solve a problem or illustrate a unique approach to technical challenge.  So most of my posts will focus on providing an illustrated step by step approach to solving a problem or technical challenge.

My posts will center around the Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite (BIFS) and the supporting software.

I look forward to any feedback related to my posts.