How to find users near a central coordinate (spatial nearest neighbor queries)


You have a database table of users who have a location specified. Given an input location point, coordinate, or city – find the top N (or all) of the nearest neighbors in range. So for example, if I am in Seattle, return 15 nearest users to my location within a 50 mile range. This is a classic spatial/geography scenario with many applicable uses. I used this technique when building some Tourvival features.


Our example uses Microsoft SQL Server, or SQL Azure database. Let’s start by making an example users table.
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