I have a table with over 800,000 records including a lat and long column. The data source did not create geometries, so I was looking around how to do this. I know there's ST_MakePoint(x,y,SRID) but all the documentation and other threads show how to create single points. How do I create the geometry type using these columns?

  • 1
    do you mean create lines from these points? Because points are geometry just as lines and polygons are... So if you're looking at creating lines from these points, check this recent blog post from Paul Ramsey: blog.cleverelephant.ca/2015/03/making-lines-from-points.html May 4, 2015 at 16:29
  • Nope. I meant like converting them to geometry types to be used in spatial queries. Looks like my question has been answered though so thank you!
    – dknuth
    May 4, 2015 at 21:00

4 Answers 4


Newer versions of PostGIS allow the following, slightly more common, syntax:

ALTER TABLE your_table ADD COLUMN geom geometry(Point, 4326);

Then use ST_SetSrid and ST_MakePoint to populate the column:

UPDATE your_table SET geom = ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(longitude, latitude), 4326);

See documentation here:

  • 1
    You can also use the newer ST_POINT(lon, lat, srid) function. The srid parameter is optional, and you can pass this in the ST_SetSRID instead, like above.
    – Theo F
    Jun 23, 2023 at 17:54

If you haven't already add a geometry column (assuming EPSG:4326 here):

SELECT AddGeometryColumn ('your_table','geom',4326,'POINT',2);

Then UPDATE, passing in the names of your x and y fields:

UPDATE yourtable SET geom = ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(longitude, latitude), 4326);

This will update the entire table, unless you include a WHERE clause

  • 6
    I think ST_SRID should be ST_SetSRID. I got an error when using ST_SRID May 17, 2019 at 11:48

As a point of clarity for future users, lat / long coordinates are technically Geography (not Geometry). It is better convention to name geometry/geography database fields in accordance with the type of the object. Storing what is technically Geography in a column called 'geom' does not allow you to glance at the field and know what is actually there.

Data in lat / long are geography (i.e., geographic coordinate system) SRID: 4326

Data in a projected coordinate system like UTM, Web Mercator, State Plane, etc. are geometry (i.e., Cartesian coordinates).

Reference: http://postgis.net/workshops/postgis-intro/geography.html

  • 1
    Many spatial functions accept only geometry, not geography, some accept both. Therefore I prefer to use geometry over geography.
    – anneb
    Apr 13, 2022 at 21:32
  1. Add a geom column to your table

    ALTER TABLE tableName ADD COLUMN geom geometry(Point, 4326);
  2. Update the geom column using the below command

    UPDATE tableName SET geom = ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(longitude::double 
    precision, latitude::double precision), 4326);

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