I am a long-time programmer, new to GIS. I am trying to get a feel for the database aspects of GIS and I understand that there are some databases which are specialized for GIS use. Basically I am trying to understand whether to use such a database or to stick with the hugely popular, well established, widely supported (and free) MySql.
The sort of applications I am liable to code would things like:
- fleet management (land or ocean based vehicles)
- employee tracking
- inventory control (at a granularity of a physical position accurate to with a metre or so)
- errm, that's about it, really
I would normally expect to be tracking no more than 1 few hundred (maximum, possibly a few thousand) items. Sometimes the items will be located in the same (large) building, series of building, city, country or world-wide, depending on the application.
I will occasionally be visually representing them either on a custom floor plan of a building or, more likely, in Google Earth or the like (more of which in another question).
It seems to me that I am as well off with MySql and adding columns for lat/long or other positional data, but that might just be because I know MySql.
Is there any reason why I should be looking at a more specialized database?