chenli868 (4) [Avatar] Offline
We are looking for spatial solutions to postgreSQL. But we find that PostGIS is on GPL license, which might cause some problem for commercial use.

And then we find that pgSphere supports the basic functions we are interested and it is on BSD license.

So here comes the questions: is pgSphere a simplified version of PostGIS regarding to functionality?

Thanks for anyone who can offer help ^_^
regina.leo (265) [Avatar] Offline
Re: Difference with pgSphere and PostGIS
Li Chen,

First the PostGIS GPL license doesn't prevent you from using in commercial settings. We use it for commercial work and so do a lot of others. It just means you can't change the core PostGIS library without giving back to the community, but you can built applications on top of it without giving the source code of your application to the community. In fact much of the funding for new features in PostGIS are provided by those using it for commercial purposes and building commercial apps they resell. The jdbc driver is LGPL.

Here is one link on the topic but there are others

pgSphere is not a simplified version of PostGIS. It was designed from the ground up to work with astronomical data. We haven't worked with it so can't say too much about it. From our understanding of what people have said -- I think it supports more ellipsoids (so really closer to the PostGIS geography type introduced in 1.5). It is more optimized for dealing with point geometries I think than large complex geographic data. It is not OGC compliant, so will not work with common off the shelf or Open Source GIS viewing and rending tools. Which may or may not be important to you.

It does use GIST indexes similar to PostGIS and in fact the pgSphere developers are the ones that built the GIST index algorithms used in PostgreSQL and PostGIS (Refractions) helped to gather enough money from the PostGIS community a while back to pay them to improve on it.
chenli868 (4) [Avatar] Offline
Re: Difference with pgSphere and PostGIS
Thank you very much for your comprehensive explanation. It is definitely a good news for us to know that PostGIS is available for commercial use.
BTW, the book is a very good reference for PostGIS