PostGIS 2.0 Sneak Preview

PostGIS – our favorite spatial db – is nearing its 2.0 release! We are promised even better performance and stability and many new capabilities especially in the three new areas: raster data, topology, and 3D.


In 2.0, PostGIS Raster (formerly known as WKT Raster) will be fully integrated into the main application. Raster images are stored in special raster tables, which can be loaded from and exported to any GDAL-supported format. Additionally, there are functions for analyzing and operating on the pixel data. Rasters can be for example: vectorized, averaged, checked for intersections with vector geometries and edited inside the database.

For more information on what you can do with Rasters, check: PostGIS Doc, Chapter 8. Raster Reference.


PostGIS 2.0 represents the beginning of topology support in PostGIS. It will be possible to transform standard geometry into topological data, validate topology, and edit nodes and edges. Topology can be exported to GML.

Topology is covered in PostGIS Doc, Chapter 10. Topology.


PostGIS 2.0 adds two 3D geometry types: polygonal surfaces and triangular irregular networks (TINs). Additional support operators for common tasks like finding areas (and volumes) of regions in 3D are included as well. Another improvement in this area is that existing spatial indices have been made 3D-aware, and a library of 3D-functions has been added. This allows calculation of distances and intersections in 3D, 3-dimensional bounding-boxes and many more things like 3D shortest-paths.

For a list of functions that support 3D, check PostGIS Doc, Chapter 12.



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