PostGIS is a very mature extension with a large number of users, from government and research organizations, to both large and small commercial organizations. It's also closely linked to the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo), which was established in February 2006, and has grown to include over 300 charter members and local chapters in over 30 countries.
The PostGIS extension allows you to store and query spatial data directly in your PostgreSQL database. This lets organizations simplify their GIS data storage, while at the same time gaining access to powerful GIS features via the same database interface as their other RDBMS applications.
For business application and research developers, this can save an enormous amount of time, and reduce the reliance on additional systems when adding spatial capabilities to applications. Plus because the data is stored in PostgreSQL, it automatically gets the same reliability, scalability and accessibility as all other application data stored in the RDBMS.
Many GIS applications are mission-critical
Emergency services, telcos, electricity and water infrastructure services depend upon GIS to locate crew members and direct them to precise destinations, often under trying conditions. Reducing points-of-failure in such cases can improve response times and help these services gain a higher success rate in the field.
For other applications, it’s the analysis of spatial data that is used to improve longer term outcomes, whether it be understanding customer usage patterns, medical condition or infection areas, or projecting operational, financial or myriad other data sources geographically that can lead to greater understanding of the data.
Geospatial data can include a large number of data types, such as geographic coordinates, raster data (GeoTiff, PNG. JPG etc), vector data (KML, GeoJSON, GML, WKT etc), 3D objects, and large address data sets. The PostGIS extension allows developers to splice, dice, morph, reclassify, and collect/union data, all via SQL. The means to geocode, geodecode and manipulate raster data are all available via new data types, operators and index bindings implemented in the PostGIS extension.
Another feature of GIS applications is the size of the data sets, which can be huge. Storing names, addresses, vector information and raster data for even a modest area can result in many gigabytes, or even terabytes of data. When the area covered is expanded, or analytical data is added, this can expand the data size significantly. This is where PostgreSQL comes to the fore, allowing organizations to manage their databases reliably, at scale, and with the response times expected of enterprise-level RDBMS systems.
Please contact us directly if you are interested in learning more about PostGIS and how to use it. Fujitsu provides 24/7 Australian-based PostgreSQL support and services, DBA and developer training, and our own enhanced version of PostgreSQL - Fujitsu Enterprise Postgres.