What is PostGIS?

PostGIS is a spatial database extender for PostgreSQL object-relational database. It adds support for geographic objects allowing location queries to be run in SQL.
PostGIS is a tool in the Database Tools category of a tech stack.
PostGIS is an open source tool with 948 GitHub stars and 320 GitHub forks. Here’s a link to PostGIS's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses PostGIS?

79 companies reportedly use PostGIS in their tech stacks, including HotelTonight, Youse, and ZGPS.

183 developers on StackShare have stated that they use PostGIS.

PostGIS Integrations

Pros of PostGIS
De facto GIS in SQL
Good Documentation
Decisions about PostGIS

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose PostGIS in their tech stack.

Kyle Harrison
Web Application Developer at Fortinet · | 21 upvotes · 14.8K views
Shared insights

While there's been some very clever techniques that has allowed non-natively supported geo querying to be performed, it is incredibly slow in the long game and error prone at best.

MySQL finally introduced it's own GEO functions and special indexing operations for GIS type data. I prototyped with this, as MySQL is the most familiar database to me. But no matter what I did with it, how much tuning i'd give it, how much I played with it, the results would come back inconsistent.

It was very disappointing.

I figured, at this point, that SQL Server, being an enterprise solution authored by one of the biggest worldwide software developers in the world, Microsoft, might contain some decent GIS in it.

I was very disappointed.

Postgres is a Database solution i'm still getting familiar with, but I noticed it had no built in support for GIS. So I hilariously didn't pay it too much attention. That was until I stumbled upon PostGIS and my world changed forever.

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Blog Posts


PostGIS's Features

  • Processing and analytic functions for both vector and raster data for splicing, dicing, morphing, reclassifying, and collecting/unioning with the power of SQL
  • raster map algebra for fine-grained raster processing
  • Spatial reprojection SQL callable functions for both vector and raster data
  • Support for importing / exporting ESRI shapefile vector data via both commandline and GUI packaged tools and support for more formats via other 3rd-party Open Source tools

PostGIS Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to PostGIS?
MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
The MySQL software delivers a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. MySQL Server is intended for mission-critical, heavy-load production systems as well as for embedding into mass-deployed software.
Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of storing data and searching it in near real time. Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash are the Elastic Stack (sometimes called the ELK Stack).
PostgreSQL is an advanced object-relational database management system that supports an extended subset of the SQL standard, including transactions, foreign keys, subqueries, triggers, user-defined types and functions.
It is a geographic information system for working with maps and geographic information. It is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and much more.
See all alternatives

PostGIS's Followers
275 developers follow PostGIS to keep up with related blogs and decisions.