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source: trunk/workshop-foss4g/geometries_exercises.rst @ 1

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Section 9: Geometry Exercises

Here's a reminder of all the functions we have seen so far. They should be useful for the exercises!

Also remember the tables we have available:

  • nyc_census_blocks
    • name, popn_total, boroname, the_geom
  • nyc_streets
    • name, type, the_geom
  • nyc_subway_stations
    • name, the_geom
  • nyc_neighborhoods
    • name, boroname, the_geom


  • "What is the area of the 'West Village' neighborhood?"

    SELECT ST_Area(the_geom)
      FROM nyc_neighborhoods
      WHERE name = 'West Village';


    The area is given in square meters. To get an area in hectares, divide by 10000. To get an area in acres, divide by 4047.

  • "What is the area of Manhattan in acres?" (Hint: both nyc_census_blocks and nyc_neighborhoods have a boroname in them.)

    SELECT Sum(ST_Area(the_geom)) / 4047
      FROM nyc_neighborhoods
      WHERE boroname = 'Manhattan';


    SELECT Sum(ST_Area(the_geom)) / 4047
      FROM nyc_census_blocks
      WHERE boroname = 'Manhattan';
  • "How many census blocks in New York City have a hole in them?"

    SELECT Count(*)
      FROM nyc_census_blocks
      WHERE ST_NRings(the_geom) > 1;
  • "What is the total length of streets (in kilometers) in New York City?" (Hint: The units of measurement of the spatial data are meters, there are 1000 meters in a kilometer.)

    SELECT Sum(ST_Length(the_geom)) / 1000
      FROM nyc_streets;
  • "How long is 'Columbus Cir' (Columbus Circle)?

    SELECT ST_Length(the_geom)
      FROM nyc_streets
      WHERE name = 'Columbus Cir';
  • "What is the JSON representation of the boundary of the 'West Village'?"

    SELECT ST_AsGeoJSON(the_geom)
      FROM nyc_neighborhoods
      WHERE name = 'West Village';
        [583276.81990686338,4509378.825446927], ...

The geometry type is "MultiPolygon", interesting!

  • "How many polygons are in the 'West Village' multipolygon?"

    SELECT ST_NumGeometries(the_geom)
      FROM nyc_neighborhoods
      WHERE name = 'West Village';


    It is not uncommon to find single-element MultiPolygons in spatial tables. Using MultiPolygons allows a table with only one geometry type to store both single- and multi-geometries without using mixed types.

  • "What is the length of streets in New York City, summarized by type?"

    SELECT type, Sum(ST_Length(the_geom)) AS length
     FROM nyc_streets
     GROUP BY type
     ORDER BY length DESC;
                           type                       |      length
     residential                                      | 8629870.33786606
     motorway                                         | 403622.478126363
     tertiary                                         | 360394.879051303
     motorway_link                                    | 294261.419479668
     secondary                                        | 276264.303897926
     unclassified                                     | 166936.371604458
     primary                                          | 135034.233017947
     footway                                          | 71798.4878378096
     service                                          |  28337.635038596
     trunk                                            | 20353.5819826076
     cycleway                                         | 8863.75144825929
     pedestrian                                       | 4867.05032825026
     construction                                     | 4803.08162103562
     residential; motorway_link                       | 3661.57506293745
     trunk_link                                       | 3202.18981240201
     primary_link                                     | 2492.57457083536
     living_street                                    | 1894.63905457332
     primary; residential; motorway_link; residential | 1367.76576941335
     undefined                                        |  380.53861910346
     steps                                            | 282.745221342127
     motorway_link; residential                       |  215.07778911517


    The ORDER BY length DESC clause sorts the result by length in descending order. The result is that most prevalent types are first in the list.

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