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

Which tutorials/books do you recommend? My past experience involves python and arcgis. But I have never worked with python with gis data specifically. I have also worked with mysql before for web development.

Thank you very much!

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8 Answers 8

up vote 29 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

My way to find PostGIS was http://bostongis.org/?content_name=postgis_tut01#20

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

Then I have to mention: http://postgisonline.org

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

anyone can write a tutorial and use it through the site. Look at http://postgisonline.org/doc 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: http://www.geoconnections.org/developersCorner/devCorner_devNetwork/meetings/2002.05.30/postgis.pdf

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The main site offers a more up-to-date version, postgis.org/docs –  Paul Ramsey Nov 6 '10 at 5:40
The url of today is postgis.net/documentation 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 http://www.comp.dit.ie/pbrowne/Spatial%20Databases%20SDEV4005/Spatial%20Databases%20SDEV4005.htm

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The PostGIS Wiki has list of tutorials as well. http://trac.osgeo.org/postgis/wiki/UsersWikiTutorials

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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: http://www.packtpub.com/postgis-to-store-organize-manipulate-analyze-spatial-data-cookbook/book

A lot of cases are explained with working instructions.


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