George MacKerron: code blog

GIS, software development, and other snippets

Archive for the ‘GIS’ Category

Map algebra with callbacks in PostGIS 2.1

with one comment

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 $$
  declare
    pixval float;
    inputx integer;
    inputy integer;
  begin
    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;
  end;
$$;

-- 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

Sunrise and sunset times with PostGIS and PL/R

with one comment

Since light can affect happiness, two important pieces of environmental data I add to the Mappiness data set during analysis are: (1) whether a response was made in daylight; and (2) day length when and where the response was made.

To derive these, I need the date, time and location of the response, and sunrise and sunset times for that date and location. R’s StreamMetabolism library provides sunrise/sunset calculations based on NOAA routines. And since my data is in PostGIS, it’s handy to use PL/R to access these.

I set this up as follows on my Ubuntu 12.04 GIS box.

In bash:

sudo aptitude install postgresql-9.1-plr
sudo R

In R:

install.packages('StreamMetabolism', dependencies = TRUE)

In Postgres (9.1):

create extension plr;
create table plr_modules (modseq int4, modsrc text);
insert into plr_modules values (0, 'library("StreamMetabolism")');
 
create or replace function 
  _r_daylight_period(lat double precision, lon double precision, datestring text, 
                     timezone text)
returns setof integer as $$
  return(as.integer(sunrise.set(lat, lon, datestring, timezone)))
$$ language plr immutable strict;
 
create or replace function 
  sunrise(location geometry, moment timestamp without time zone, timezone text)
returns timestamp without time zone as $$
  select to_timestamp(min(s)) at time zone $3 from _r_daylight_period(
    st_y(st_transform($1, 4326)), -- 4326 = WGS84
    st_x(st_transform($1, 4326)),
    to_char($2, 'YYYY/MM/DD'),
    $3
  ) s
$$ language sql immutable strict;
 
create or replace function 
  sunset(location geometry, moment timestamp without time zone, timezone text)
returns timestamp without time zone as $$
  select to_timestamp(max(s)) at time zone $3 from _r_daylight_period(
    st_y(st_transform($1, 4326)), -- 4326 = WGS84
    st_x(st_transform($1, 4326)),
    to_char($2, 'YYYY/MM/DD'),
    $3
  ) s
$$ language sql immutable strict;
 
create or replace function 
  is_daylight(location geometry, moment timestamp without time zone, timezone text) 
returns boolean as $$
  select (sunrise($1, $2, $3), sunset($1, $2, $3)) overlaps ($2, cast('0' as interval));
$$ language sql immutable strict;
 
create or replace function 
  hours_in_the_day(location geometry, moment timestamp without time zone, timezone text) 
returns double precision as $$
  select extract(epoch from sunset($1, $2, $3) - sunrise($1, $2, $3)) / 3600.0;
$$ language sql immutable strict;

These new functions can be used like so:

select 
  is_daylight(geom, moment, 'Europe/London'), 
  hours_in_the_day(geom, moment, 'Europe/London') 
from mytable;

(Note: what I actually do with the Mappiness data is to use a single call to _r_daylight_period, and calculate the other quantities as a second step. This speeds things up a lot, because I have millions of rows to process and Postgres doesn’t appear to do as much caching of immutable function results as one would like here).

Written by George

October 15th, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Posted in GIS,PL/R,PostGIS,SQL

Using the OSTN02 transformation in PostGIS

without comments

When converting coordinates between WGS84 (GPS) and OSGB36 (UK National Grid), using OSTN02 can gain us a few metres in accuracy over the basic parametric transformation provided by PostGIS’s st_transform via PROJ.4.

Happily, Ordnance Survey now distribute an NTv2 version of the OSTN02 transformation, courtesy of the Defence Geographic Centre, which can be used by PROJ.4 and, therefore, PostGIS.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

July 3rd, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Posted in GIS,PostGIS

How to compile PostGIS 2.1 on Ubuntu Server 12.04+

with 7 comments

PostGIS 2 has some exciting new goodies — including raster support — that I’m keen to use in the analysis of Mappiness data.

But the PostGIS package provided by Ubuntu 12.04 is still only at version 1.5, and the GEOS and GDAL packages are also too old to support the new version.

So — this is how I compiled PostGIS 2.0.1 2.0.3 2.1.0rc2 2.1.0 and its dependencies on my GIS server.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

June 1st, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Spindlytext: write in the sky with the Google Earth API

without comments

I’ve just released Spindlytext on Github. It’s the library that powers the live data display in Pigeon Sim, by creating KML linestrings in the shape of letters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

May 2nd, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Polygons from PostGIS to Processing

without comments

There are plenty of ways to get spatial data from a PostGIS database into a Processing sketch.

You can export to CSV or SVG and load it from there; you can query the database directly; or, depending on context, you might choose to generate Processing commands directly, which is the route I went to display a background map of the UK in a recent visualization project.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

November 17th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Posted in GIS,PostGIS,Processing

Approximating kernel-weighted proportions in PostGIS

without comments

Kernel weighted proportion diagram

Imagine you want compare various locations in terms of the availability of a certain type of environment, such as fresh water.

You might want to use a measure of the proximity of that environment — such as the nearest neighbour distance.

You might want to use a measure of the quantity of that environment in the vicinity — such as the proportion of land within a specific radius that is of that type.

Or you might ideally like a measure that combines both of these: one that incorporates the quantity of that environment, but gives greater weight to areas that are nearer, and lesser weight to those that are further away.

In that third case, what you probably want is a kernel-weighted proportion.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

August 16th, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Posted in GIS,PostGIS,SQL

Overlapping markers on your Google Map? Meet OverlappingMarkerSpiderfier

with 67 comments

Ever noticed how, in Google Earth, marker pins that overlap each other spring apart gracefully when you click them, so you can pick the one you meant?

And ever noticed how, when using the Google Maps API, the exact same thing doesn’t happen?

This code makes Google Maps API version 3 map markers behave in that Google Earth way. Small numbers of markers (up to 8, configurable) spiderfy into a circle. Larger numbers fan out into a (more space-efficient) spiral.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

June 22nd, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Simple PostGIS nearest neighbour function

with 4 comments

Here’s a less generic and slightly different nearest-neighbour function based on Regina’s generic nearest-neighbour function at Boston GIS.

It follows the same basic idea of using series of enlarging search radii to restrict distance calculations to a manageable subset of things-that-might-be-near. The difference is that it uses a geometric progression of sizes (x, x * y, x * y^2, x * y^3, ...) instead of an arithmetic one (x, x + y, x + 2y, x + 3y, ...).

For some distributions of things-that-might-be-near, and tuned with the right parameters (x, y), this turns out substantially faster (I’ve used it to locate the nearest UK postcode to each mappiness response).

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

March 10th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Posted in GIS,PostGIS,SQL

as_kmldoc: easily visualise PostGIS queries as KML in Google Earth

with one comment

PostGIS has an st_askml function. This turns geometries into fragments of KML, and thus takes you most of the way to easy visualisation of spatial queries using Google Earth. But not all the way: these fragments have then to be assembled into a complete document.

I’ve written some wrapper and aggregate functions to automate this. They’re probably deeply inefficient — I wouldn’t advocate building your next web service on them — but for one-off eyeballing of query results I find them really useful.

The key functions are called as_kmldoc; you could see them as the missing aggregate versions of st_askml.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by George

September 29th, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Posted in GIS,Mac,PostGIS,SQL