Geometric processing as a field of study has many applications, and has resulted in lots of research, and powerful tools. Many modern web applications have location based components, and require a data storage engines capable of managing geometric information. Typically this requires the introduction of an additional storage engine into your infrastructure, which can be a time consuming and expensive operation.
MongoDB has a set of geometric storage and search features. The MongoDB 2.4 release brought several improvements to MongoDB’s existing geo capabilities and the introduction of the
The primary conceptual difference (though there are also many functional differences) between the
2dsphere indexes, is the type of coordinate system that they consider. Planar coordinate systems are useful for certain applications, and can serve as a simplifying approximation of spherical coordinates. As you consider larger geometries, or consider geometries near the meridians and poles however, the requirement to use proper spherical coordinates becomes important.
In addition to this major conceptional difference, there are also significant functional differences, which are outlined in some depth in the Geospatial Indexes and Queries section of the MongoDB documentation. This post will discuss the new features that have been added in the 2.4 release.