Crunchy Data hosted the 4th annual PostGIS Day on November 17, 2022. PostGIS Day always comes a day after GIS Day which occurs annually on the 3rd Wednesday of November.
We had speakers from 10 different countries and attendees from more than 70 countries.
PostGIS is the most popular spatial relational database worldwide with:
- An extensive catalog of spatial functions
- Rich ecosystem of in-db extensions for routing, event management, external database linkage, point clouds, rasters and more
- Numerous web frameworks for serving tiles and vector images
- Tools for data loading and processing
- Easy integration with QGIS, the most popular open-source mapping software
PostGIS is in our Everyday Lives
What blew me away this year is how PostGIS touches so many parts of our everyday lives. From high speed internet, to water and flood management, there’s PostGIS supporting major parts of the infrastructure we depend on every day.
Water, Soil, Floods, and Environment
We heard a talk about the GISwater project, which is open source asset management for water and wastewater tracking. Helping humanity, bringing the world water resources, using the open source tools. What could be better? This project just gives everyone all the feels.
In a similar way, my ears really perked up with the Vizzuality talk on using PostGIS for conversation efforts, tracking food supply chains, and sustainability.
We were really lucky to have two federal agencies join us as well. USDA talked about using PostGIS as the engine behind the Dynamic Soils Hub project, which tracked a number of key soil changes like erosion and farmland loss across America. A developer who works alongside the National Flood Insurance Program talked about some of his work to collect several massive open data sets and merge them into a set of building outlines for the entire country.
Telling stories about people
I also really appreciated several talks that went a little bit outside the box to talk about how PostGIS can be used in a more people focused context. We had a nice talk about using PostGIS/QGIS to look at how you can explore infrastructure and how it impacts social inequity and health outcomes. There was also a great talk about routing people's movements outside roads, like on foot or inside buildings. Another talk went outside the box, or should I say inside the goal box, with a talk on how geospatial data is being collected and used in hockey and sports.
We were really fortunate to get a couple talks on how developers in Africa are using PostGIS. We had a talk on using QField, QGIS, and PostGIS for urban planning in Nigeria. A developer from Tanzania showed an isochrone map plugin he wrote for QGIS. Isochrone maps show distance from a certain point with time considered.
We had two talks from Canada, where they’re aiming to have the entire country covered by high speed internet by 2030. One of the talks described building a design system in QGIS and PostGIS and even training internal designers to use these tools. We had a second talk about the telecom industry, this one more focused on getting things up to scale for backing a really large enterprise.
PosGIS Day also had a really broad set of talks about ecosystem tools. Seeing these all in total, you realize how big the world of PostGIS is and how many people are building large scale applications out of geospatial data.
PostGIS at scale
- pgSTAC, an asset catalog used by the Microsoft Planetary Computer and NASA projects
- Open Street Maps loading, tuning and tips for performance
- dbt data loading and processing pipeline framework
- pg_eventserv, an extension for doing real time updates and web sockets
PostGIS functions and tooling
- postgis_sfcgal and other extensions
- H3 came up a few times, in the extension talk and Vizzuality’s
- PostGIS 3.3 new and improved functions for ST_ConcaveHull, ST_SimplifyPolygonHull, and ST_TriangulatePolygon (and also a proposal for functions to support Simple Polygonal Coverages)
- Indexing in Postgres 15
- pg_routing, the core tool used in PostGIS for routing applications
- Kart, a version control system for geospatial data
- Koop, tools for building spatial APIs via GeoJSON
- Python PostGIS API and vector services, TiFeatures and TiMVT
- db2vector, a vector tile service
Thanks to everyone who participated this year! If you missed it, plan to join us next year. Mark your calendar, we’ll open a call for papers in September of 2023. Videos are linked above or available as a full playlist on Crunchy Data’s YouTube channel.
PostGIS at Crunchy Data
PostGIS is a supported extension with Crunchy Certified Postgres and is packaged with our products on traditional infrastructure, Kubernetes, and our fully managed Crunchy Bridge. Crunchy Data supports a variety of enterprise clients using PostGIS in production. If you’re using PostGIS and are looking for a host or supported distribution, contact us, we’d love to chat.
December 2, 2022 •More by this author