GIS - Spatial data

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Hello NG!

I'm going to use MySQL to manage spatial data in a website made with PHP.

In its manual I've seen that MySQL can manage georeferenced elements
(points, lines and so on). But this spatial extension stil lacks some
functionality, and by a web search it seems to me that these functions
are missing from year(s).

What I need most is the DISTANCE() function beetween two geometric
elements. It's easy for two points, but the other cases are more complex
(point-segment, segment-segment, polyline-point, polyline-polyline, and
so on).

I've looked in internet for php functions that calculate the distance,
but my search had no success. Does anyone can point me some link that
could help me?

Thank you very much!

PS: I know PostgreSQL has got the functions I need, but I'm forced to
use MySQL
PPS: does anyone knows something about the future of then MySQL spatial

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