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PostGIS Cookbook [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Paolo Corti , Stephen Vincent Mather , Thomas J Kraft , Bborie Park

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24. Januar 2014

For web developers and software architects this book will provide a vital guide to the tools and capabilities available to PostGIS spatial databases. Packed with hands-on recipes and powerful concepts.


  • Integrate PostGIS with web frameworks and implement OGC standards such as WMS and WFS using MapServer and GeoServer
  • Convert 2D and 3D vector data, raster data, and routing data into usable forms
  • Visualize data from the PostGIS database using a desktop GIS program such as QGIS and OpenJUMP
  • Easy-to-use recipes with advanced analyses of spatial data and practical applications

In Detail

PostGIS is a spatial database that integrates advanced storage and analysis of vector and raster data, and is remarkably flexible and powerful. PostGIS provides support for geographic objects to the PostgreSQL object-relational database and is currently one of the most popular open source spatial databases. If you want to explore the complete range of PostGIS techniques and expose its related extensions, this book is a must-have.

This book is a deep dive into the full range of PostGIS topics, with practical applications of the concepts and code. It is a comprehensive guide on the PostGIS tools and concepts that are required to manage, manipulate, and analyse spatial data in PostGIS. This book is packed with systematic instructions of hands-on examples and in-depth explanations. Even for experienced users, this book will serve as a great source of reference by providing new ways of working with PostGIS through the book's easy-to-follow approach.

This hands-on guide looks at key spatial data manipulation tasks, explaining not only how each task is performed, but also why. It provides practical guidance allowing you to safely take advantage of the advanced technology in PostGIS in order to simplify your spatial database administration tasks.

This practical book will help you take advantage of basic and advanced vector, raster, and routing approaches. You will learn to use the concepts of data maintenance, optimization, and performance, which will help you to integrate these into a large ecosystem of desktop and web tools.

With this comprehensive guide, you will be armed with all the tools and instructions you need to both manage the spatial database system and make better decisions as your project's requirements evolve.

What you will learn from this book

  • Import and export geographical data from the PostGIS database using the available tools
  • Structure spatial data using the functionality provided by the combination of PostgreSQL and PostGIS
  • Work with a set of PostGIS functions to perform basic and advanced vector analyses
  • Connect PostGIS with PHP, Java, and .NET
  • Learn to use programming frameworks around PostGIS
  • Maintain, optimize, and fine-tune spatial data for long-term viability
  • Explore the 3D capabilities of PostGIS, including LiDAR point clouds and point clouds derived from Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques
  • Distribute 3D models through the Web using the X3D standard
  • Use PostGIS to develop powerful GIS web applications using Open Geospatial Consortium web standards
  • Master PostGIS Raster


An easy-to-use guide, full of hands-on recipes for manipulating spatial data in a PostGIS database. Each topic is explained and placed in context, and for the more inquisitive, there are more details of the concepts used.

Who this book is written for

If you are a web developer or a software architect, especially in location-based companies, and want to expand the range of techniques you are using with PostGIS, then this book is for you. You should have some prior experience with PostgreSQL database and spatial concepts.

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Mehr über die Autoren

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Paolo Corti

Paolo Corti is based in Rome, Italy. He is an environmental engineer with more than 15 years of experience in the GIS sector. After working with proprietary solutions for some years, he has proudly switched to open-source technologies and Python for almost a decade.

He has been working as a developer and analyst for organizations such as the EU Joint Research Center, UN World Food Program, and the Italian Government.

Currently, he is working within the GeoNode project, for which he is a core developer, in the context of emergency preparedness and response.

He is an OSGeo Charter member and writes a blog on open-source GIS at

He is the author of the book's chapters 1, 3, 8, and 9.

Stephen Vincent Mather

Stephen Vincent Mather has worked in the geospatial industry for 15 years, having always had a flair for geospatial analyses in general, especially those at the intersection of Geography and Ecology. His work in open-source geospatial databases started 5 years ago with PostGIS and he immediately began using PostGIS as an analytic tool, attempting a range of innovative and sometimes bleeding-edge techniques (although he admittedly prefers the cutting edge). His geospatial career has spanned a variety of interesting and novel natural-resource projects, everything from the movement of ice sheets in Antarctica to hiking viewsheds and mobile trail applications to help park users find trails, picnic areas, and restrooms.

Stephen is currently the GIS manager for Cleveland Metroparks in Cleveland, Ohio. He manages a small geospatial shop that specializes in high-end cartography, crating and generating data, geospatial web development, and analyses for natural-resource management, largely with open-source software.

Stephen is also a Mennonite technologist, aka a straw-hat hacker, interested in creating fair and open data and infrastructure for better governance and humanitarian purposes. He is heavily involved in the Cleveland Civic Hacking movement as he works with the public to help them get engaged with geospatial data. In his spare time, he builds guitars really, really slowly.

Thomas J Kraft

Thomas J Kraft is currently a Planning Technician at Cleveland Metroparks after beginning as a GIS intern in 2011.

He graduated with Honors from Cleveland State University in 2012, majoring in Environmental Science with an emphasis on GIS.

When not in front of a computer, he enjoys his weekends landscaping and the outdoors in general.

Bborie Park

Bborie Park has been breaking (and subsequently fixing) computers for most of his life. His primary interests involve developing end-to-end pipelines for spatial datasets. He is an active contributor to the PostGIS project and is a member of the PostGIS Steering Committee. He happily resides with his wife Nicole in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.6 von 5 Sternen  7 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great source of inspiration and solutions 3. April 2014
Von Nyall - Veröffentlicht auf
Full of detailed code examples and guides for solving common geospatial problems in PostGIS. This is a great source of inspiration for exploring a wide variety of functions and techniques which are possible in PostGIS. This book isn't aimed at beginners - it's targeted to readers who are familiar with GIS software and have some experience in using PostGIS. Highly recommended for anyone wanting to take their PostGIS skills to the next level.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Must have to Geo Geeks! 2. April 2014
Von Zeeshan - Veröffentlicht auf
PostGIS CookBook is a must have buy for any developer working with Geo content and/or location based services. The recipes are exciting - working with LIDAR data, pgRouting with OSM maps and postgis replication.

You wont find these topics in other books (very few books on PostGIS BTW), which are introductory texts and more explanatory than practical. This book serves its purpose.

Though some more recipes and a getting started with PostGIS (installation, troubleshooting, etc) should have been included, anyways a great read.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great cookbook for intermediate to advanced users 23. März 2014
Von Daniel Lee - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I started reading the PostGIS Cookbook with high expectations. Nonetheless, I was positively surprised by the quality of the book, especially regarding its reread value. Skimming through the book once will give you a good idea of what PostGIS is capable of, and it inspired me to move some important parts of automated postprocessing workflows into the database. Keeping the book around will help you put together projects more quickly and efficiently.

The book is composed of several recipes, all of which are fairly concise. You should have a bit of background working with geodata and be fairly comfortable with reading SQL in order to get the most out of it, because theoretical explanations are kept to a minimum. This is great for users at or above the intermediate level, because it's a perfect format for quickly looking up practical examples of how certain things are done without having to dig a lot. If you're looking to move from beginner to intermediate user, the examples also will help you a lot.

The chapters cover a broad variety of topics, from importing and exporting data to simple raster and vector analyses. Math algebra, terrain analyses, routing and photogrammetry are covered well, as well as serving the data locally or over a web connection and displaying it in a desktop GIS or a self-made web client. There are also some nice examples and explanations of how to administer, maintain and optimize the database itself, as well as analyzing and optimizing the performance of single queries using Postgres' built in profiler. It's helpful for the more advanced topics if you bring some prior knowledge with, but if you're just getting started in these areas the book contains good tips on where you can find further information. The focus is on practicability and presenting examples that are easy to understand, duplicate, and adapt to your own needs.

The only thing that I wish were done better is the code formating. I read the ebook version and in some chapters code blocks were missing line breaks. In the SQL this makes it hard to read, especially because no space was substituted for line breaks, which broke the syntax, but for the Python examples this was even worse because the indentation is semantically significant.
Aside from the formating problem, I was extremely pleased with the PostGIS Cookbook and will surely use it in the future often while migrating analysis steps and data storage into a Postgres/PostGIS database.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Good book but hard to find the course materials 17. August 2014
Von J. Jasinski - Veröffentlicht auf
I just purchased this ebook for Kindle and have read through the first few chapters. It seems very informative and I like it so far. However, when I tried to download the associated sample data to work through some of the activities, I'm having a really hard time finding it somewhere. I've searched all over the internet and the publisher website without much luck. The publisher's website appears to have a search tool for this, but it does not seem to work. I did find one github link ( with sample data but it only contains sample data from one of the authors (chapters 2,4,6,and 7). Some of the external data source links referenced in the book link to sources that aren't clear where to download the data from (either the site has changed or there aren't clear instructions on how to get a data export from that source).

Because of this issue, I'm giving this book a three star review. However, I might update this if this issue is clarified. As I mentioned, I like the book so far and would really like to work through some of the exercises with the sample data. I don't understand why these resources are so difficult to find, given that this book is centered around the exercises.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good collection of recipes but aimed more at the intermediate user of PostGIS 3. März 2014
Von R. M. Marsden - Veröffentlicht auf
(Full Disclosure: Packt asked me to review the eBook version of this book)

In recent years, Postgres has been gaining ground over MySQL as the open source relational database (RDBMS) of choice, and is now arguably the open source RDBMS of choice. One of the reasons for this gain is the geospatial support provided by the PostGIS extensions. Although recent versions of MySQL do provide some geospatial support, these are very limited when compared to PostGres or a commercial database (e.g. Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server). PostGIS is supported by a wide range
of geospatial tools and systems, including most, if not all, of the major open source geospatial projects.

The PostGIS Cookbook follows the familiar Packt cookbook formula of: Introduction, Getting Ready, How to do it,
and How it works. However, few of the recipes include a "Further Information" or "Taking it Further" section. Unlike many of these cookbooks, the PostGIS Cookbook is not a beginner's tutorial that assumes minimal knowledge. Although some of the recipes cover relatively simple tasks such as importing OpenStreetMaps (OSM) data, many are much more sophisticated. Also there is not a step-by-step progression that builds knowledge in a tutorial-like manner. This is not necessarily a bad thing - it makes the book more of a genuine 'cookbook', i.e. collection of recipes that solve typical real world problems.

This does mean the book is not ideal for novices. It also assumes the reader is already familiar with Postgres. Although it introduces and explains a lot of PostGIS functionality, if the reader is not already familiar with the basics of PostGIS, they will also benefit from having access to a tutorial or reference (e.g. the official documentation).

The recipes cover a wide range of data types and sources. These should help users who are looking to import their specific data type. Recipes also reference other systems which can work well with PostGIS, such as Quantum GIS and GRASS. These references barely scratch the surface of what these systems can do, but they may be enough to inform the reader who can then go and research them further.

Chapter topics are:

- Moving Data In and Out of PostGIS: CSV, GDAL, shapefiles, OSM, rasters
- Structures: Geospatial views, triggers, inheritance, normaization, proportional polygon estimates
- Vectors - Basic: GPS data, fixing geometries, simplifications, distances, intersections, clipping, etc
- Vectors - Advanced: Efficient proximity filtering, rotations, translations, scaling, Voronoi polygons
- Rasters: Map algebra, geometetry conversion, warping & resampling, Digital Elevation Models (DEM), Visualising
- pgRouting: Loading data, Dijkstra, A*, service areas, polygon centerlines
- Nth dimension: 3d objects, LIDAR, X3D, UAV photogrammetry
- PostGIS Programming: Psycopg (Python Postgres library), OGR Python bindings, PL/Python, Geocoding (GeoNames, OSM, geopy, PL/Python), netCDF
- PostGIS and the web: UMN MapServer, GeoServer, OpenLayers, Leaflet, GeoDjango
- Maintenance, Optimization, and Performance Tuning: Backups, indexes, clustering, SQL optimization, migration
- Desktop Clients: Quantum GIS, OpenJUMP, gvSIG, uDig.

I know the pgRouting chapter would have been useful if I had had it a couple of years ago when using PostGIS to
batch calculate route distances.

Summarizing, this book is recommended for PostGIS practitioners. PostGIS novices will find it demonstrates a
sophisticated set of functionality, but they will also need a PostGIS tutorial and/or reference.
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