Tools: MS SQL 2008
I had just come off a client project where I used MS SQL 2005 to great effect, and I was by now familiar with MS SQL as a system and TRANSACT SQL for the business logic layer. I put together quite a reference library to help me, not excessive but well thought out, so I had enough written material plus the Internet to help me solve problems as they came up.
SQL Server 2008 was one of the first databases to specifically create data types to work with geodesic (GIS using spherical geometry) and geometric (GIS that did not require you to specify a datum to do computations around the globe) data types. This was all well and good, but even to this day, .NET technologies do not recognize the derived types that SQL Server uses for the GIS data, and so it was a pain to actually get any work done natively in .NET if you wanted to programmatically interact with your data. Oh well…
Another limitation which I believe is now removed is that GIS computations could not be done between hemispheres. I never got to a point where this affected me, but it could have if I were to have road segments that crossed the equator.