Introduction to PostGIS

1. Welcome

1.1. About Boundless

Boundless is bringing the best practices of open source software to governments and other organizations around the world.

  • We provide enterprises with supported, tested, and integrated open source solutions to help open government.
  • We support open source communities by employing key developers for PostGIS, GeoServer, GeoWebCache, GeoExt, and OpenLayers.
  • We have a ten-year history of providing successful consulting services and products to clients like MassGIS, TriMet, Landgate, Google, The Work Bank, and the Open Geospatial Consortium.
  • We believe open and accessible information empowers people to effect real change. Our goal is to make geospatial information more open: publicly available, accessible on compelling platforms that people want to use.
  • We strive to build software that meets and exceeds the desires of clients, because our market success proves the value of our work.

1.2. Workshop Conventions

These sections conform to a number of conventions to make it easier to follow the conversation. This section gives a brief overview of what to expect in the way of typographic conventions, as well as a short overview of the structure of each workbook.

1.2.1. Directions

Directions for you, the workshop attendee, will be noted by bold font.

For example:

Click Next to continue.

1.2.2. Code

SQL query examples will be displayed in an offset box

SELECT postgis_full_version();

These examples can be entered into the query window or command line interface.

1.2.3. Notes

Notes are used to provide information that is useful but not critical to the overall understanding of the topic.


If you haven’t eaten an apple today, the doctor may be on the way.

1.2.4. Functions

Where function names are defined in the text, they will be rendered in a bold font.

For example:

ST_Touches(geometry A, geometry B) returns TRUE if either of the geometries’ boundaries intersect

1.2.5. Files, Tables and Column Names

File names, paths, table names and column names will be shown in fixed-width font.

For example:

Select the name column in the nyc_streets table.

1.2.7. Workflow

Sections are designed to be progressive. Each section will start with the assumption that you have completed and understood the previous section in the series and will build on that knowledge. A single section will progress through a handful of ideas and provide working examples wherever possible. At the end of a section, where appropriate, we have included a handful of exercises to allow you to try out the ideas we’ve presented. In some cases the section will include “Things To Try”. These tasks contain more complex problems than the exercises and is designed to challenge participants with advanced knowledge.

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About Boundless

Boundless provides commercial open source software for internet mapping and geospatial application development. We are dedicated to the growth and support of open source software.


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