Introduction to PostGIS

Kayla Patel, a member of the city of Boston’s Analytics Team has a three-part write up introducing PostGIS.  PostGIS is an open source extender for PostgreSQL. PostGIS extends the capabilities of PostgreSQL,  increasing its management capabilities by adding geospatial types and functions to enhance spatial data handled within a relational database structure (more: What is PostGIS?).

The first part of the Introduction to PostGIS series provides an over of the open source software program including how and why to use it, how to use it with Boston’s GIS toolsets, and using it to work with map projections.

Part two reviews how to add and populate a geometry column, checking what the map projection is off a GIS dataset, how to transform a dataset to a different map projection, and how to get X and Y coordinate values from a geometry column.


Part three, entitled “How to get insights from your data”, dives into more advanced functionality of PostGIS.  This includes spatial indexing, spatial joins, buffering, finding the nearest, and clustering.

Each concept review in the introduction to PostGIS contains links for further reading and resources.

Example of a dataset with a geometry type of “multipolygon”. From: Patel, 2019

See Also


Recent Posts

European Global Position System Failure Points to the Importance of Location Technology

What is being called a “major outage” by the European Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Agency, or GSA, highlights the…

2 mins ago

How to Change the Projection of a Shapefile Using QGIS

If you know the starting coordinate system or projection of your shapefile, you can quickly export the data into another…

4 days ago

How Refugees are Using GIS to Map Their Geographies and Experiences

Story maps are a powerful tool that tell events and what has happened to those who are displaced.

5 days ago

Analyzing the Benefits of Green Space on Mental Health Using GIS

A recent large-scale study in Denmark combined historical Landsat satellite data and a survey that recorded mental health benefits to…

5 days ago

NASA is Expanding its Worldwide Landslide Data Catalog Using Volunteers

NASA has developed Landslide Reporter as a way to collect as much information as possible about landslides from citizen scientists from around…

5 days ago

Using Remote Sensing to Detect Structural Changes in Bridges

Researchers are using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) collected from satellites to detect structural changes in bridges.

6 days ago