George MacKerron: code blog

GIS, software development, and other snippets

Map algebra with callbacks in PostGIS 2.1

I’ve been playing with the much-enhanced raster support in PostGIS 2.1 in the last few days. Amongst other things I’ve been producing maps with ST_MapAlgebra, which has changed a little since 2.0.

The example callback function in the documentation is somewhat unhelpfully bare-bones: it always returns 0, touching none of its arguments. So here’s an equally useless — but rather more informative — example of a callback function for the simple one-raster, one-band, one-pixel-at-a-time case:

create or replace function 
callback_fn(pixel float[], pos integer[], variadic userargs text[]) 
  returns float 
  language plpgsql 
  immutable  -- careful: this function is immutable, yours may not be
as $$
    pixval float;
    inputx integer;
    inputy integer;
    pixval := pixel[1][1][1];  -- pixel indices: [raster #][xdistance][ydistance]
    inputx := pos[1][1];       -- pos indices:   [raster #][x = 1, y = 2]
    inputy := pos[1][2];       --                (raster #0 is the output raster)

    return pixval + inputx + inputy;

-- example call:

select st_mapalgebra(rast, 1, 'callback_fn(float[], integer[], text[])'::regprocedure) 
from raster_table;

And here’s something that caught me out: unless you’re passing some userargs, don’t declare your callback function to be strict. If you do, your callback function will never be called because its userargs argument is always null.


Written by George

July 21st, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Posted in GIS,PostGIS,SQL

  • Ilia Choly

    Thanks for posting this.