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I have been reading a lot about PostGIS, but I am struggling to find a good beginner's guide.

Which tutorials/books do you recommend?

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8 Answers 8

up vote 34 down vote accepted

Boundless' Introduction to PostGIS

Boundless (formerly opengeo) has a very very good workshop with a lot of exercises on the PostGIS database. I would start with this one.

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This is GREAT. Just what I was looking for. Thank you. – relima Nov 6 '10 at 17:04

Some starting points to consider:

Also, for general introduction to PostgreSQL I quite enjoyed 'Beginning Databases with PostreSQL' book by Matthew & Stones.

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The link to "Introduction to an Open Source Geostack" is broken. – drunkenwagoner May 15 '14 at 0:30
@drunkenwagoner Thanks - it has been corrected. – radek May 15 '14 at 7:11
Thanks for an update Nathan! – radek Jun 10 at 7:21

My way to find PostGIS was

there is three parts of the tutorial. I really like it.

Then I have to mention:

I have tried to build a way of trying spatial SQL queries online. There are a very few tutorials there:

anyone can write a tutorial and use it through the site. Look at There is still a lot to do with the site but there is not time enough. Anyone willing to contribute or give comments or ideas are very welcome.


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A good start can be the PostGIS Manual edited by Paul Ramsey.

document download URL:

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The main site offers a more up-to-date version, – Paul Ramsey Nov 6 '10 at 5:40
The url of today is instead – Nicklas Avén May 15 '14 at 5:21

Take a look at Portable GIS:

provide beginners with a ready-installed and configured stack of open source GIS tools that would run in windows without the need for emulation or a live cdemulation or a live cd

i.e. You can have it up and running on a USB stick. Very handy for workplace environments.

It has on it:
PostgreSQL (version 8.4)/Postgis (version 1.4)

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A course on spatial databases from Dublin Institute of Technology

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The PostGIS Wiki has list of tutorials as well.

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It's maybe a little late, but since this year (2014), we've got the excellent "PostGIS Cookbook" from Packt publishing [Paolo Corti, Stephen Vincent Mather, Thomas J Kraft, Bborie Park]

Here's the link:

A lot of cases are explained with working instructions.


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