Table of Contents
PostGIS has the following requirements for building and usage:
A complete installation of PostgreSQL (including server headers). PostgreSQL is available from http://www.postgresql.org. Version 7.2 or higher is required.
GNU C compiler (
gcc). Some other ANSI C
compilers can be used to compile PostGIS, but we find far fewer
problems when compiling with
GNU Make (
For many systems, GNU
make is the default
version of make. Check the version by invoking
Other versions of
make may not process the
(Recommended) Proj4 reprojection library. The Proj4 library is used to provide coordinate reprojection support within PostGIS. Proj4 is available for download from http://www.remotesensing.org/proj.
(Recommended) GEOS geometry library. The GEOS library is used to provide geometry tests (ST_Touches(), ST_Contains(), ST_Intersects()) and operations (ST_Buffer(), ST_Union(), ST_Difference()) within PostGIS. GEOS is available for download from http://geos.refractions.net.
The PostGIS module is a extension to the PostgreSQL backend server. As such, PostGIS 1.3.6 requires full PostgreSQL server headers access in order to compile. The PostgreSQL source code is available at http://www.postgresql.org.
PostGIS 1.3.6 can be built against PostgreSQL versions 7.2.0 or higher. Earlier versions of PostgreSQL are not supported.
Before you can compile the PostGIS server modules, you must compile and install the PostgreSQL package.
If you plan to use GEOS functionality you might need to explicitly link PostgreSQL against the standard C++ library:
LDFLAGS=-lstdc++ ./configure [YOUR OPTIONS HERE]
This is a workaround for bogus C++ exceptions interaction with older development tools. If you experience weird problems (backend unexpectedly closed or similar things) try this trick. This will require recompiling your PostgreSQL from scratch, of course.
Retrieve the PostGIS source archive from http://postgis.refractions.net/download/postgis-1.3.6.tar.gz. Uncompress and untar the archive.
# gzip -d -c postgis-1.3.6.tar.gz | tar xvf -
Enter the postgis-1.3.6 directory, and run:
If you want support for coordinate reprojection, you must
have the Proj4 library installed. If ./configure didn't find
it, try using
--with-proj=PATH switch specify a
specific Proj4 installation directory.
If you want to use GEOS functionality, you must have the
GEOS library installed. Geos 3.0.3+ is preferred and is required for some functions
such as ST_SimplifyPreserveTopology to be available. If ./configure didn't find it, try
--with-geos=PATH to specify the full path to
the geos-config program full path.
Run the compile and install commands.
# make # make install
All files are installed using information provided by
Libraries are installed
Important support files such as
are installed in
Loader and dumper binaries are installed in
If you are missing proj based on above or running a version below 4.5, then install by following these steps.
wget http://download.osgeo.org/proj/proj-4.6.0.tar.gz tar xvzf proj-4.6.0.tar.gz cd proj-4.6.0 ./configure && make clean && make make install ldconfig cd ..
If you are missing geos based on above or running a version below 3.0, then install by following these steps.
wget http://download.osgeo.org/geos/geos-3.0.3.tar.bz2 tar xvjf geos-3.0.3.tar.bz2 cd geos-3.0.3 ./configure && make clean && make make install ldconfig cd ..
PostGIS requires the PL/pgSQL procedural language extension.
Before loading the
lwpostgis.sql file, you must
first enable PL/pgSQL. You should use the
command. The PostgreSQL Programmer's Guide has the details if
you want to this manually for some reason.
# createlang plpgsql [yourdatabase]
Now load the PostGIS object and function definitions into your
database by loading the
# psql -d [yourdatabase] -f lwpostgis.sql
The PostGIS server extensions are now loaded and ready to use.
For a complete set of EPSG coordinate system definition
identifiers, you can also load the
definitions file and populate the
# psql -d [yourdatabase] -f spatial_ref_sys.sql
For helpful descriptions about functions included in postgis, install the postgis_comments.sql file.
# psql -d [yourdatabase] -f postgis_comments.sql
Some packaged distributions of PostGIS (in particular the Win32
installers for PostGIS >= 1.1.5) load the PostGIS functions into a
template database called
template_postgis. If the
template_postgis database exists in your PostgreSQL
installation then it is possible for users and/or applications to
create spatially-enabled databases using a single command. Note that
in both cases, the database user must have been granted the privilege
to create new databases.
From the shell:
# createdb -T template_postgis my_spatial_db
postgres=# CREATE DATABASE my_spatial_db TEMPLATE=template_postgis
Upgrading existing spatial databases can be tricky as it requires replacement or introduction of new PostGIS object definitions.
Unfortunately not all definitions can be easily replaced in a live database, so sometimes your best bet is a dump/reload process.
PostGIS provides a SOFT UPGRADE procedure for minor or bugfix releases, and an HARD UPGRADE procedure for major releases.
Before attempting to upgrade postgis, it is always worth to backup your data. If you use the -Fc flag to pg_dump you will always be able to restore the dump with an HARD UPGRADE.
Soft upgrade consists of sourcing the lwpostgis_upgrade.sql script in your spatial database:
$ psql -f lwpostgis_upgrade.sql -d your_spatial_database
If a soft upgrade is not possible the script will abort and you will be warned about HARD UPGRADE being required, so do not hesitate to try a soft upgrade first.
If you can't find the
file you are probably using a version prior to 1.1 and must
generate that file by yourself. This is done with the following
$ utils/postgis_proc_upgrade.pl lwpostgis.sql > lwpostgis_upgrade.sql
By HARD UPGRADE we intend full dump/reload of postgis-enabled databases. You need an HARD UPGRADE when postgis objects' internal storage changes or when SOFT UPGRADE is not possible. The Release Notes appendix reports for each version whether you need a dump/reload (HARD UPGRADE) to upgrade.
PostGIS provides an utility script to restore a dump produced with the pg_dump -Fc command. It is experimental so redirecting its output to a file will help in case of problems. The procedure is as follow:
Create a "custom-format" dump of the database you want to upgrade (let's call it "olddb")
$ pg_dump -Fc olddb > olddb.dump
Restore the dump contextually upgrading postgis into a new database. The new database doesn't have to exist. postgis_restore accepts createdb parameters after the dump file name, and that can for instance be used if you are using a non-default character encoding for your database. Let's call it "newdb", with UNICODE as the character encoding:
$ sh utils/postgis_restore.pl lwpostgis.sql newdb olddb.dump -E=UNICODE > restore.log
Check that all restored dump objects really had to be restored from dump and do not conflict with the ones defined in lwpostgis.sql
$ grep ^KEEPING restore.log | less
If upgrading from PostgreSQL < 8.0 to >= 8.0 you might want to drop the attrelid, varattnum and stats columns in the geometry_columns table, which are no-more needed. Keeping them won't hurt. DROPPING THEM WHEN REALLY NEEDED WILL DO HURT !
$ psql newdb -c "ALTER TABLE geometry_columns DROP attrelid" $ psql newdb -c "ALTER TABLE geometry_columns DROP varattnum" $ psql newdb -c "ALTER TABLE geometry_columns DROP stats"
spatial_ref_sys table is restore from the dump, to ensure your custom additions are kept, but the distributed one might contain modification so you should backup your entries, drop the table and source the new one. If you did make additions we assume you know how to backup them before upgrading the table. Replace of it with the new one is done like this:
$ psql newdb newdb=> drop spatial_ref_sys; DROP newdb=> \i spatial_ref_sys.sql
There are several things to check when your installation or upgrade doesn't go as you expected.
It is easiest if you untar the PostGIS distribution into the
contrib directory under the PostgreSQL source tree. However, if
this is not possible for some reason, you can set the
PGSQL_SRC environment variable to the path to
the PostgreSQL source directory. This will allow you to compile
PostGIS, but the make install may not work, so
be prepared to copy the PostGIS library and executable files to
the appropriate locations yourself.
Check that you you have installed PostgreSQL 7.2 or newer, and that you are compiling against the same version of the PostgreSQL source as the version of PostgreSQL that is running. Mix-ups can occur when your (Linux) distribution has already installed PostgreSQL, or you have otherwise installed PostgreSQL before and forgotten about it. PostGIS will only work with PostgreSQL 7.2 or newer, and strange, unexpected error messages will result if you use an older version. To check the version of PostgreSQL which is running, connect to the database using psql and run this query:
If you are running an RPM based distribution, you can check for the existence of pre-installed packages using the rpm command as follows: rpm -qa | grep postgresql
Also check that you have made any necessary changes to the top of the Makefile.config. This includes:
If you want to be able to do coordinate reprojections, you
must install the Proj4 library on your system, set the
USE_PROJ variable to 1 and the
PROJ_DIR to your installation prefix in the
If you want to be able to use GEOS functions you must
install the GEOS library on your system, and set the
USE_GEOS to 1 and the
to your installation prefix in the Makefile.config
The JDBC extensions provide Java objects corresponding to the internal PostGIS types. These objects can be used to write Java clients which query the PostGIS database and draw or do calculations on the GIS data in PostGIS.
java/jdbc sub-directory of the
ant command. Copy the
postgis.jar file to wherever you keep your java
The JDBC extensions require a PostgreSQL JDBC driver to be present in the current CLASSPATH during the build process. If the PostgreSQL JDBC driver is located elsewhere, you may pass the location of the JDBC driver JAR separately using the -D parameter like this:
# ant -Dclasspath=/path/to/postgresql-jdbc.jar
PostgreSQL JDBC drivers can be downloaded from http://jdbc.postgresql.org.
The data loader and dumper are built and installed automatically as part of the PostGIS build. To build and install them manually:
# cd postgis-1.3.6/loader # make # make install
The loader is called
shp2pgsql and converts
ESRI Shape files into SQL suitable for loading in PostGIS/PostgreSQL.
The dumper is called
pgsql2shp and converts PostGIS
tables (or queries) into ESRI Shape files. For more verbose
documentation, see the online help, and the manual pages.