I've successfully loaded a geoTif into PostGIS (Postgresql 9.3.9) using the following command on my Ubuntu 14.04 server:-

sudo -u postgres raster2pgsql -s 4326 -d -I -C -M -R -l 4 /path/to/my_raster.tif -F -t 10000x10000 my_raster | sudo -u postgres psql -d my_database

It's a 1 banded grayscale raster (lat/lon) with cell values representing some environmental factor on the ground. Hence, I simply want to get the cell value at a given lat/lon.

Following some examples I found I came up with the following SQL:-

  ST_Value( rast, ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(0,51.5),4326) ) AS rast_val
  ST_Value( rast, ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(0,51.5),4326) ) IS NOT NULL;

This seems to get the right value for me when I cross reference the same location loading the raster in QGIS.

My question is basically a sanity check if the above SQL is correct as I am not 100% sure of the WHERE clause.

  • It looks correct. You don't really need the WHERE clause, though I imagine the query parser will convert the query into something that doesn't actually call ST_Value twice. You could probably handle that more elegantly using exclude_nodata_value true/false that is built into the function. Mar 4, 2016 at 15:13
  • Thanks, but "exclude_nodata_value" does not seem make any difference either it is set to TRUE of FALSE, unless I am doing it the wrong way: 'SELECT ST_Value( rast, ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(0,51.5),4326), TRUE ) AS rast_val FROM my_raster' or 'SELECT ST_Value( rast, ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(0,51.5),4326), FALSE ) AS rast_val FROM my_raster'
    – Jason
    Mar 7, 2016 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


A faster way is to cut your raster into small tiles while loading it with the -t option (e.g. 100x100). Make sure also to build an index on the tiles with the -I option.

Then you can query the pixel values with a query like this taking advantage of the indexed tiles:

SELECT ST_Value(rast, ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(0,51.5),4326)) AS val
FROM my_raster
WHERE ST_Intersects(rast, ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(0,51.5),4326));

Should be way faster....

  • Thanks for the tips. Turning on \timing, I can see your query is at least twice as fast as my original query.
    – Jason
    Mar 8, 2016 at 10:49

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