I am designing a spatial database and I am including a variety of already existent datasources (ex: Lakes, rivers, road network, contour lines, cities, etc). Those sources can be updated every once in a while.

Except from these sources, the database is normalized in fifth normal form (5NF) or Boyce-Codd normal form (BCNF).

Should I also normalize those external datasources?

My concern is that it may be too much trouble for the benefits. I am thinking about the moment when I will update the sources. It would be much more trouble than to just "replace" the existing table.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Vince, whyzar, Dan C, Mapperz Jan 25 '17 at 21:03

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • You probably won't use your data in normal form, your tools will expect relatively flat, denormalized inputs.
  • You probably won't update your data in normal form, you'll receive flat, denormalized bulk updated.
  • You won't receive updates in the sort of granular, just-change-one-thing form that normalized databases excel at.

So, no, don't bother.

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