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mongodb? MySQL? PostgreSQL?

If someone would add pluses and minus, let me know.

Why I ask:

I am a mobile startup. I need a database that supports spatial indexes. The spatial index must be able to do something more sophisticated than simply asking whether a point is in a rectangle. For that one, I do not think we need spatial indexes at all.

At the least I need to be able to find the 20 closest points to a certain location.

Yes, I can put a small rectangle, see if 20 points are there, then make a bigger rectangle. That's reasonable, but I want something simpler and faster.

Basically I just see what other successful startups use and follow. Many recommend mongodb.

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    Success isn't necessarily dictated by the underlying tech, it's based on the engineer's ability to use the tech as efficiently as possible (given the organizational understanding of "efficient.") With that said, you need a bit more information in here (what's your application domain? what are the requirements? etc.) in order to get some better information. As it stands, your question risks being closed as rather unanswerable. – swasheck Jun 21 '12 at 19:18
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That question is much too vague to answer. The problem defines the solution, not the other way around.

For your specific use-case, I would recommend PostgreSQL + PostGIS. I have no personal experience with PostGIS, but it's a well-supported extension to PostgreSQL.

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