I am trying to setup a GIS system to use PostGIS and Geoserver. I have loaded all of the data into a table. The data that is received has long/lat coordinates in Degrees, Minutes, Seconds, Direction, each of which is a separate column. What I did is created a column (location) of type geography and I'm trying to give proper info for each record. The command that I am using is this (of course this is only in the Western Hemisphere):

UPDATE *tablename* SET location = ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint((lat_degrees+(lat_minutes+lat_seconds/60)/60), (-1*(long_degrees+(long_minutes+long_seconds/60)/60))), 4326);

My DMS -> DD conversions should be correct, and I've verified that by creating separate columns to test each individually. But the problem is, my geoserver doesn't detect the proper bounds. When I manually set the bounds (I set them to -180,-180,180,180) and check my data in Google Earth, it only zooms to 0,0 and I can find some horribly warped data, in Antarctica.

One thing to note... not all of my records include location data, could that be an issue? Or is ST_MakePoint simply not creating the right location for my data?

Thanks for the help!

1 Answer 1


You've switched the order of your lat,lon. See the documentation for ST_MakePoint() and you'll see that it requires:

ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(lon, lat),4326)

Then, after to make your changes, try verifying:

SELECT ST_AsText(location) FROM *tablename* LIMIT 10;
  • That's exactly it! I tested with the ST_AsText right after posting this and noticed I had switched them. They are showing now. Only remaining issue is that geoserver still can't figure out my bounds. Is that because of the empty values?
    – jpmaniac87
    Jul 21, 2014 at 16:06
  • Perhaps. I'd do a bit of logic before doing your UPDATE so that you're not trying to ST_MakePoint on null or empty values. Use an IF statement in your SQL, or COALESCE(lat_degrees, 0) will return the first non-null arguement...
    – mtn.biker
    Jul 21, 2014 at 16:28
  • That is where I planned to go once everything is working, if nothing else for time. But, I even went back and made empty location values NULL and the issue is still there with Geoserver detecting bounds. Perhaps a Geoserver issue?
    – jpmaniac87
    Jul 21, 2014 at 18:21
  • I don't know the answer to that - I'd recommend writing a new question about Geoserver not calculating the extent of your table correctly due to some records containing null geometry.
    – mtn.biker
    Jul 21, 2014 at 19:15

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