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Alastair Aitchison

Alastair Aitchison is an independent developer, trainer, author and consultant specialising in spatial data reporting and analysis. His work has been used by the House of Lords, the police, political parties and various media agencies.
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So you heard about the new spatial functionality in SQL Server 2008, rushed back to your database and added geography and geometry columns to all your tables, eager to create the next Google Earth-beating application. You then click the Execute button and wait. And wait. And wait some more. (You get the idea). Spatial data is a rather unique beast, and designing efficient spatial queries requires specific techniques when compared to other, more traditional types of data. In this session, we look at how the SQL Server database engine satisfies spatial queries, the theory behind spatial indexes, demonstrate the effects of altering the bounding box, use the spatial system DMVs and stored procedures to your spatial database
SQL Server spatial features have not yet made it into mainstream usage and many developers still ask "But *why* would I use them?". In this session, I hope to answer that question by replicating the functionality of Google Maps using only SQL Server.

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Batch Conversion of BVH to FBX Motion Capture files 25 Apr 2014
Continuing my foray into the world of motion capture, I’ve been building up my own collection of mocap data files from various sources I find on the ‘net, with the hope of ultimately using them to animate a Mecanim rig … Continue reading →

A Simple Mind-Reading Machine 15 Mar 2014
Just for fun, I decided to implement a "Mind Reading Machine" based on the work of Claude Shannon and D.W. Hagelbarger. If you’re not familiar with it, there’s a good summary of Shannon’s idea here (together with descriptions of some … Continue reading →

Project Spark : First Impressions 07 Feb 2014
Project Spark is an upcoming game/game creation environment/educational coding tool/interactive story creator/all/none of the above. Actually, I’m not quite sure what it is (nor exactly who it’s aimed at), but recently I’ve been doing a lot of computing with kids … Continue reading →

Glass Shader 21 Dec 2013
I’ve seen a lot of posts recently from folks trying to create shaders that recreate the appearance of glass. I guess the reason is that glass is a pretty common material, but modelling its appearance is surprisingly complex – requiring … Continue reading →

Keeping Track of Targets in a Trigger 12 Dec 2013
Unity provides the OnTriggerEnter() and OnTriggerExit() events that fire whenever a collider enters or exits the designated trigger, and also an OnTriggerStay() that fires in every frame in which the collider is within the trigger. However, it doesn’t provide a … Continue reading →