In the era of big data, Internet-based geospatial information services such as various LBS apps are deployed everywhere, followed by an increasing number of queries against the massive spatial data. As a result, the traditional relational spatial database (e.g., PostgreSQL with PostGIS and Oracle Spatial) cannot adapt well to the needs of large-scale spatial query processing. Spark is an emerging outstanding distributed computing framework in the Hadoop ecosystem. This paper aims to address the increasingly large-scale spatial query-processing requirement in the era of big data, and proposes an effective framework GeoSpark SQL, which enables spatial queries on Spark. On the one hand, GeoSpark SQL provides a convenient SQL interface; on the other hand, GeoSpark SQL achieves both efficient storage management and high-performance parallel computing through integrating Hive and Spark. In this study, the following key issues are discussed and addressed: (1) storage management methods under the GeoSpark SQL framework, (2) the spatial operator implementation approach in the Spark environment, and (3) spatial query optimization methods under Spark. Experimental evaluation is also performed and the results show that GeoSpark SQL is able to achieve real-time query processing. It should be noted that Spark is not a panacea. It is observed that the traditional spatial database PostGIS/PostgreSQL performs better than GeoSpark SQL in some query scenarios, especially for the spatial queries with high selectivity, such as the point query and the window query. In general, GeoSpark SQL performs better when dealing with compute-intensive spatial queries such as the kNN query and the spatial join query.
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