I have some trip data and I want to draw a line between the start and end coordinates.

I have two layers in CartoDB - one contains the start coordinates (with trip_id & cartodb_id). The other contains the corresponding end coordinates (with trip_id & cartodb_id).

As I'm new to CartoDB/SQL in general, how can I join these the two coordinates for the same trip?

I found this code somewhere but it hasn't been working for me thus far:

    WHERE trip_id = cartodb_id LIMIT 1
  ) AS the_geom_webmercator 
    AS c

(I've edited it a little bit, but I'm not sure if what I have done is right).

  • Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user please take the Tour as an introduction to our focussed Q&A format. You have mentioned CartoDB in your title so I suggest that you explore that as your first candidate rather than asking for Software Recommendations here on a site that starts from the premise that you are already using or well into researching a particular software. Previous questions have been asked here that are tagged CartoDB and CSV - they could be worth reviewing for ideas of how they can interact.
    – PolyGeo
    Dec 14, 2015 at 6:50
  • Does it appear to be working. If not, what is wrong? Dec 14, 2015 at 10:27
  • No it's not for some reason! If I put this code into the SQL box for the start coordinates layer, all the points on that layer just disappear.
    – shaneg1991
    Dec 14, 2015 at 20:49
  • And vice versa if I do the same for the end coordinates layer
    – shaneg1991
    Dec 14, 2015 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


For what you say I'm assuming you can link start and end points by their trip_id. If that's the case (and each trip only has one point stored in table A and one in table B) then your sql only needs to do the relation right (now you are using cartodb_id vs trip_id, which I don't think is correct).

I'd maybe do something like this:

WITH coords AS
 a.the_geom_webmercator as coord_a, 
 b.the_geom_webmercator AS coord_b 
 FROM hubway_july2012_start a JOIN hubway_july2012_end b on a.trip_id=b.trip_id )

SELECT ST_MakeLine(coord_a, coord_b) AS the_geom_webmercator FROM coords
  • Thanks, I'll give that a try. This might be a stupid question but would I put that in the SQL box for the start or end layer? (right now I have two layers - one is for the start coordinates and the other is for the end coordinates)
    – shaneg1991
    Dec 14, 2015 at 20:41
  • Actually it doesn't matter. Whatever you put in that box gets executed as SQL regardless of the currently selected table Dec 15, 2015 at 14:33

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