Spatial Index Builder Module¶
When running spatial queries, although PostGIS can support indexes on spatial data and is highly optimised, sometimes the query can be just too complex for live use. An example might be a query which returns a list of UK vice county sites plus a count of the records that fall within them - this query requires each record in the database to be tested against each vice county boundary. As these boundaries are very complex, testing a single record might be very fast but when scaled up to the entire dataset this query is just too complex to run on a live server.
The Spatial Index Builder module uses the Work Queue to create tasks for all inserted and updated samples and locations. It then runs a spatial query to look for intersections between sample and location polygons and then stores the results of the query in the cache_samples_functional.location_ids and cache_occurrences_functional.location_ids fields, both of which hold arrays of integers. Once this “hard link” is created, the data linked to a location can be located using the @> or && PostgreSQL operators, e.g.
This is much faster than repeating the spatial query each time a report query is run.
The module can be restricted to only indexing certain location types by the use of a configuration setting, described below. It also allows indexing to automatically include the parents of any found location, e.g. you can index against a layer of counties and automatically include the links to the associated countries, which saves time during the background task processing.
You must ensure that the Scheduled Tasks are configured for the warehouse.
If you want to limit the location types that are indexed, then you must duplicate the file
modules/spatial-index-builder/config/spatial_index_builder.php.exampleand call the duplicated file
spatial_index_builder.php. Now edit the file using a text editor and ensure the configuration array contains the list of location type terms you want to include, noting that it is case sensitive. For example you might index national parks and national nature reserves with the following settings:
<?php $config['location_types']=array( 'National Parks', 'National Nature Reserves', ); ?>
If you have an indexed layer (e.g. National Parks) where the location records have the parent_id field set to point to a parent location such as a country, then you can specify the hierarchical_location_types configuration to include these parent locations in the indexed data. E.g.
<?php $config['hierarchical_location_types']=array( 'National Parks', ); ?>
You can further restrict the indexing for a given location type to records captured from a particular survey dataset or list of survey dataset. To do this, you need to add a second configuration item to the config file called
survey_restrictions. This must use the location type term as the key and the value of the array should be an array of survey IDs. You can omit this configuration item if not required, or only list the location types which are restricted by survey. For example, if the indexing of the National Parks location boundaries is only relevant to survey datasets with IDs 14 and 15, then you can add this configuration:
<?php $config['survey_restrictions']=array( 'National Parks' => array(14,15) ); ?>