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Bienvenue sur , le site de la communauté des utilisateurs francophones de PostGIS.

PostGIS ajoute le support d'objets géographique à la base de données PostgreSQL. En effet, PostGIS "spatialise" le serverur PostgreSQL, ce qui permet de l'utiliser comme une base de données SIG.

Maintenu à jour, en fonction de nos disponibilités et des diverses sorties des outils que nous testons, nous vous proposons l'ensemble de nos travaux publiés en langue française.

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

Revision 1, 7.6 KB checked in by djay, 13 years ago (diff)

Initial import of the svn tree

Section 4: Loading spatial data

Supported by a wide variety of libraries and applications, PostGIS provides many options for loading data. This section will focus on the basics -- loading shapefiles using the PostGIS shapefile loading tool.

  1. First, return to the Dashboard, and click on the Import shapefiles link in the PostGIS section. The GUI shapefile importer pgShapeLoader will launch.

  2. Next, open the Shape File browser and navigate to the data directory, file:\postgisintro\data. Select the :file:`nyc_census_blocks.shp` file.

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  3. Fill in the details for the PostGIS Connection section and click on the Test Connection... button.





    Server Host

    localhost 54321




Setting the port number to 54321 is very important! The OpenGeo PostGIS runs on port 54321, not the default PostgreSQL port of 5432.

  1. Fill in the details for the Configuration section.

    Destination Schema




    Destination Table


    Geometry Column


  2. Click the Options button and select "Load data using COPY rather than INSERT." This will make the data load process a little faster.

  3. Finally, click the Import button and watch the import process. It may take a few minutes to load, but this is the largest file in our test set.

  4. Repeat the import process for the remaining shapefiles in the data directory. Except for the input file and output table name, all the other fields in pgShapeLoader should remain the same:

    • nyc_streets.shp
    • nyc_neighborhoods.shp
    • nyc_subway_stations.shp
  5. When all the files are loaded, click the "Refresh" button in pgAdmin to update the tree view. You should see your four tables show up in the Tables section of the tree.


Shapefiles? What's that?

You may be asking yourself -- "What's this shapefile thing?" A "shapefile" commonly refers to a collection of files with .shp, .shx, .dbf, and other extensions on a common prefix name (e.g., nyc_census_blocks). The actual shapefile relates specifically to files with the .shp extension. However, the .shp file alone is incomplete for distribution without the required supporting files.

Mandatory files:

  • .shp — shape format; the feature geometry itself
  • .shx — shape index format; a positional index of the feature geometry
  • .dbf — attribute format; columnar attributes for each shape, in dBase III

Optional files include:

  • .prj — projection format; the coordinate system and projection information, a plain text file describing the projection using well-known text format

In order to analyze a shapefile in PostGIS, you need to convert a shapefile into a series SQL commands. By running pgShapeLoader, a shapefile converts into a table that PostgreSQL can understand.

SRID 26918? What's with that?

Most of the import process is self-explanatory, but even experienced GIS professionals can trip over an SRID.

An "SRID" stands for "Spatial Reference IDentifier." It defines all the parameters of our data's geographic coordinate system and projection. An SRID is convenient because it packs all the information about a map projection (which can be quite complex) into a single number.

You can see the definition of our workshop map projection by looking it up either in an online database,

or directly inside PostGIS with a query to the spatial_ref_sys table.

SELECT srtext FROM spatial_ref_sys WHERE srid = 26918;


The PostGIS spatial_ref_sys table is an OGC-standard table that defines all the spatial reference systems known to the database. The data shipped with PostGIS, lists over 3000 known spatial reference systems and details needed to transform/re-project between them.

In both cases, you see a textual representation of the 26918 spatial reference system (pretty-printed here for clarity):

PROJCS["NAD83 / UTM zone 18N",
      SPHEROID["GRS 1980",6378137,298.257222101,AUTHORITY["EPSG","7019"]],

If you open up the nyc_neighborhoods.prj file from the data directory, you'll see the same projection definition.

A common problem for people getting started with PostGIS is figuring out what SRID number to use for their data. All they have is a .prj file. But how do humans translate a .prj file into the correct SRID number?

The easy answer is to use a computer. Plug the contents of the .prj file into This will give you the number (or a list of numbers) that most closely match your projection definition. There aren't numbers for every map projection in the world, but most common ones are contained within the prj2epsg database of standard numbers.


Data you receive from local agencies -- such as New York City -- will usually be in a local projection noted by "state plane" or "UTM". Our projection is "Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Zone 18 North" or EPSG:26918.

Things to Try: Spatially Enable an Existing Database

You have already seen how to create a database using the postgis_template in pgAdmin. However when installing from source or adding PostGIS functionality to an existing database, it is not always appropriate to create a fresh database from the PostGIS template.

Your task in this section is to create a database and add PostGIS types and functions after the fact. The SQL scripts needed -- :file:`postgis.sql` and :file:`spatial_ref_sys.sql` -- can be found in the :file:`contrib` directory of your PostgreSQL install. For guidance, refer to the PostGIS documentation on installing from source [1].

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System Message: ERROR/3 (<string>, line 139); backlink

Unknown interpreted text role "file".

System Message: ERROR/3 (<string>, line 139); backlink

Unknown interpreted text role "file".


Remember to include your username and port number when creating a database from the command line.

Things to Try: View data using uDig

uDig, (User-friendly Desktop Internet GIS), is a desktop GIS viewer/editor for quickly looking at data. You can view a number of data formats including flat shapefiles and a PostGIS database. Its graphical interface allows for easy exploration of your data, as well as simple testing and fast styling.

Use this software to connect your PostGIS database. The application is included in the software folder.


[1]"Chapter 2.5. Installation" PostGIS Documentation. May 2010 <>
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