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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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Learnings from Unite 2015 27 Jun 2015
I spent the last three days having a lovely time in Amsterdam attending the Unite Europe 2015 conference. This is just a place for me to gather my notes/thoughts while they’re still in my head:   Iestyn Lloyd’s (@yezzer) Dropship … Continue reading →

Modding Mario 20 Jun 2015
Video footage of the two finalists in the recent 2015 “Nintendo World Championship” competing in speedruns of customised Super Mario Bros levels has generated some excitement for the upcoming “Mario Maker” game.   It’s quite fun to watch the competitors … Continue reading →

Creating Windowless Unity applications 15 Jun 2015
I remember some while back there was a trend for applications to seem integrated with your Windows desktop – animated cats that would walk along your taskbar – things like that… What about a windowless Unity game that used a … Continue reading →

Creating a Unity game stretched over Two Monitors 15 May 2015
I guess many developers, like me, use a dual-output graphics card to make their Windows workspace extend over two monitors. I’ve been experimenting with whether it’s possible to make a Unity game that spanned two monitors (and, perhaps even more … Continue reading →

Creating “Hand-Drawn” Terrain in Unity 04 Apr 2015
I’ve had a few questions recently about how to apply my hand-drawn shader pack on Unity terrain. So here’s a guide (written using Unity 5, but the instructions should remain almost identical in Unity 4 save for a few menu … Continue reading →