Oct 1, 2017
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.
PostGIS development was started by Refractions Research as a project in open source spatial database technology. PostGIS is released under the GNU General Public License. PostGIS continues to be developed by a group of contributors led by a Project Steering Committee and new features continue to be added.
Learn how PostGIS is being used around the world.
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.
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).
The North Dakota State Water Commission manages all their hydrological and spatial data inside PostgreSQL and PostGIS. Five years ago, they were using only proprietary software, now they are using mostly open source.