The Parallel Universe Blog

December 05, 2012

Introducing SpaceBase Lite for Location Apps

By Ron

SpaceBase is a real-time, in-memory spatial data store that began life as military-grade software. It has been used at the core of critical, real-time military systems. While designed for high-end uses, over the past few months we’ve seen interest in SpaceBase from web and mobile location-based services developers wanting to use SpaceBase as a real-time, spatial store/cache. So, we’ve decided to offer a free version of SpaceBase specifically aimed at such applications.

Why, when and how to use SpaceBase Lite

SpaceBase Lite is a very fast spatial data store. It stores the location of objects, allows you to update their location at a very high rate, and to query them - based on their location - very, very quickly. That’s it.

It’s especially suitable for applications tracking the current position of moving objects - say cars or people - and require either low-latency or a high volume of queries and updates. It does not persist data to disk, so it cannot be used for long-term storage. Nor is it meant to be used for analytics: It’s OLTP; not OLAP. If you do require long-term storage, you can use SpaceBase as a temporary cache. Feed all of your spatial updates into SpaceBase and serve all of your spatial queries from it; occasionally and asynchronously, query the data in SpaceBase and flush it to a slower database.

So, why use SpaceBase? Because it’s fast. Very fast. If you have a lot of spatial updates or queries flowing into your system, SpaceBase might just be what you need.

SpaceBase Lite is limited to 20,000 objects. If you need to track more than that, please contact us at


  • APIs for Python, Ruby and Node.js via Thrift.
  • An Erlang API.
  • Lightning fast insertions, deletions, updates and queries of spatial objects.
  • Geo-spatial queries (which objects are within 300 yards from a given location) and joins (which pairs of objects are within 300 yards from one another).
  • Automatic time-based expiration of objects (Thrift API only).
  • Partial object retrieval (Thrift API only)


All SpaceBase Lite requires is an installation of Java 7.


So, download SpaceBase Lite here and give it a try. You can ask any question about it in the new forum/mailing list.

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