Today a huge amount of geospatial data is being created, collected and used more than ever before. The ever increasing observations and measurements of geo-sensor networks, satellite imageries, point clouds from laser scanning, geospatial data of Location Based Services (LBS) and location-based social networks has become a serious challenge for data management and analysis systems. Traditionally, Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) were used to manage and to some extent analyze the geospatial data. Nowadays these systems can be used in many scenarios but there are some situations when using these systems may not provide the required efficiency and effectiveness. More specifically when the geospatial data has high volume, high frequency of change (in both data content and data structure) and variety of structures, the conventional data storage systems cannot provide needed efficiency in online systems in terms of performance and scalability.
In these situations, NoSQL solutions can provide the efficiency necessary for applications using geospatial data. This paper provides an overview of the characteristics of geospatial big data, possible solutions for managing and processing them. Then the paper provides an overview of the major types of NoSQL solutions, their advantages and disadvantages and the challenges they present in managing geospatial big data. Then the paper elaborates on serving geospatial data using standard geospatial web services with a NoSQL XML database as a backend.