Oracle Spatial Vector Acceleration: Flick the Switch


A lot has been written, positive and negative, about the speed of Oracle Spatial over the years, a lot of ill informed (I mean if you don’t use it, how can you criticize it?).

But since Oracle Database 12c (12.1) there is no longer any doubt as to the speed of the product.


I recently executed a contract that involved introducing that client to the wonderful world of Spatial Vector Acceleration: my customer, even though fully licensed, did not realise that high performance spatial processing was now available to them.

With 12c the Spatial team released a new set of spatial processing algorithms. The resulting high performance changes were made available via a database system parameter called SPATIAL_VECTOR_ACCELERATION. (The previous algorithms still exist.)

To get an idea of spatial performance using the new algorithms you can access a free report (in my shop) I wrote demonstrating its speed (against PostGIS for one): it is FAST!

The SPATIAL_VECTOR_ACCELERATION parameter has two values: TRUE and FALSE. By default the database shipped set to FALSE for 12c, 18c, 19c – 21c defaults to TRUE.

So, Spatial Vector Acceleration can be turned on, like any other system parameter, as follows:


NAME                        TYPE    VALUE
--------------------------- ------- -----
spatial_vector_acceleration boolean  FALSE



NAME                        TYPE    VALUE
--------------------------- ------- -----
spatial_vector_acceleration boolean  TRUE

Additionally the Spatial Vector Acceleration was licensed only for those with an Oracle Spatial license (as against Locator). However, recently Oracle removed the requirement to be licensed for Spatial to receive the benefits replacing it with the simple requirement that the host database be licensed (not just enterprise edition). The icing on the cake is the licensed change has been grandfathered back to 12c.

Great News!

So, to benefit from this amazing speed improvement: Flick the Switch.

Oracle Spatial Vector Acceleration
Flick the Switch to high high performance Spatial.

So, all you Oracle Spatial practitioners out there, talk to your DBA about changing the parameter, and sit back and enjoy the benefits.