do I understand it correctly that it is possible to create a line out of an array with the function ST_MakeLine()? I would like to create a line from several points (more than two) and then calculate the length of this line. So the idea is to use ST_Length(ST_MakeLine()). But I wouldn't mind to use something else if it works better. And I don't need a line if it is possible to calculate the distance without creating the line. So I need actually the distance between several points. I will have many different arrays calculated for 3-15 points from the database, so the 'geom' array further down is just an example.

I am trying the following code:

        conn = psycopg2.connect("dbname='postgis_22_sample' user='postgres'                         password='db_postgres'")
        print "connected"
        print "I am unable to connect to the database"

    cur = conn.cursor()

    geom = ['0101000020E61000002073602DC48B02C08A97E9353F434B40', '0101000020E610000052F1834C1F0706C0E5F623C767554B40', '0101000020E6100000786C0C11DBEA02C002893F6561444B40', '0101000020E6100000CB67791EDCDD03C04963B48EAA4A4B40']

    cur.execute("""SELECT ST_Length(ST_MakeLine(geom));""")

Error: the column 'geom' does not exist

I thought that theoretically I can insert any possible array in there. Or is there something wrong with the syntax?

If I read the values from the table it gives the error that the function is not compatible with these arguments.

    cur.execute("""SELECT ST_Length(ST_MakeLine(geom)) FROM table;""")

(I have the version 2.2 of PostGIS and here (http://postgis.net/docs/ST_MakeLine.html) it is written that since 1.4 the arrays are supported)

  • elements in the list seems to be WKB
    – nickves
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:15
  • yes, but like this it works, so it shouldn't be a problem, right? cur.execute("""SELECT ST_Length(ST_MakeLine('0101000020E61000002073602DC48B02C08A97E9353F434B40', '0101000020E610000052F1834C1F0706C0E5F623C767554B40'));""")
    – student
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:28
  • The query expects a datatype of geometry or geography. You need to cast that value as such. Did you try postgis.net/docs/ST_GeomFromWKB.html ?
    – nickves
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


First, in this statement:

cur.execute("""SELECT ST_Length(ST_MakeLine(geom));""")

geom doesn't refer to your Python variable named geom; it refers to a postgres column named geom, which does not exist and is why you are seeing this error:

ERROR:  column "geom" does not exist

To substitute in the Python variable, you need something like this:

cur.execute("""SELECT ST_Length(ST_MakeLine(%s));""", (geom,))

Which would result in the following SQL:


And which would return the following result:

>>> cur.execute("""select st_makeline(%s)""", (geom,))
>>> cur.fetchall()

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