What is PostGIS?

PostGIS adds support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL object-relational database. In effect, PostGIS "spatially enables" the PostgreSQL server, allowing it to be used as a backend spatial database for geographic information systems (GIS), much like ESRI's SDE or Oracle's Spatial extension. PostGIS follows the OpenGIS "Simple Features Specification for SQL" and has been certified as compliant with the "Types and Functions" profile.

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PostGIS has been developed by Refractions Research as a project in open source spatial database technology. PostGIS is released under the GNU General Public License. We continue to develop PostGIS, and have added user interface tools, basic topology support, data validation, coordinate transformation, programming APIs and much more. Our list of future projects includes full topology support, raster support, networks and routing, three dimensional surfaces, curves and splines and other features. Ask us about consulting services and implementing new features.

Using Postgis

You can connect and use the database from many programs included here. Connections are setup already in: To connect from other applications you'll need the following information:

Case Studies

Learn how PostGIS is being used around the world.

UC Davis Soil Resource Laboratory

The US Davis Soil Resource Laboratory publishes soil inventory data for the southwest United States using PostGIS and Mapserver. Six months ago they were using shape files for spatial data storage. With PostGIS, their data is integrated in the database and new avenues of display and analysis have been opened for them.

Natural Language Spatial Search Engine for Rental Places – Rento

Rento is a free web service that makes it easy to find a place to rent in Greece. Powered by PostgreSQL and PostGIS, it provides ad listings with photographs displayed on a map. Searching is accomplished through map navigation and natural language processing, with the search engine being capable of answering complex (spatial) questions such as "flat near the University of Athens" or "loft up to 800 euros near a metro station" (in greek).


GlobeXplorer serves terrabytes of imagery to clients around the world using PostGIS as their production database server. In 2004, GlobeXplorer migrated from Informix to PostGIS, and now they are serving over a million requests a day with PostGIS.

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