Michael J Swart posted a SQL query on his blog that produced a rendition of Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, in the spatial results tab of SQL Server Management Studio when executed. But, when everyone rushed over in anxious anticipation, some folks could execute the query but couldn't see the picture on their 64-bit editions. Here's why…
It's an obscure problem with rendering spatially invalid results that surfaced around SP1 timeframe. The map control that produces the tab cannot execute the MakeValid() method. It's looking for the 32-bit version of SqlServerSpatial.dll that should have been installed in C:\Windows\SysWOW64, as it needs to be on a 64 bit machine. The exception happens inside the Microsoft.SqlServer.Spatial assembly, which cannot locate SqlServerSpatial.dll.
Here's a simple repro:
DECLARE @g GEOMETRY
SELECT @g = GEOMETRY::STGeomFromText('POLYGON((1 1, 3 3, 3 1, 1 3, 1 1))',0)
SELECT @g — Spatial results tab doesn't display in SSMS x64
SELECT @g.MakeValid() — This works
So if this doesn't work for you, you'll need to either,
A. Locate and install 32-bit SqlServerSpatial.dll in C:\Windows\SysWOW64
or B. Change the script to output the result to a table variable, where you can call MakeValid() on the spatial column.
Reinstalling the spatial library from the SQL Server 2008 Feature Pack may work as well, but I've not tried this so I can't promise.
Then you'll "get the picture".