I am building an application and I want it to have the following functionality.
I have a table of points and I would like to be able to query that table for a specific point and get all of the polygons that it is INSIDE of.
For example. If I have a point in Austin,TX, I would like my application to return a reference to a Austin, Texas, United States, North America, essentially grabbing all "parent" polygons. At the same time I would like to be able to do the reverse and say "give me all of the points in the United States", or "give me the points in Texas".
I know how to do the queries with PostGIS, and up until now, I have been loading various shape files into my database from gadm. I have all admin levels, but I am missing American cities so now I have to go download that data. My hunch is I am missing other data besides American cities so I started looking at GeoServer and MapServer.
My question is, am I going about this the wrong way?
Can I query a GeoServer service for the same type of information (giving me all points in a polygon)? Am I wasting my time loading these shapefiles into PostGIS? I am so new to this stuff so any information helps.
PS, right now I am using QGIS to explore the data. Not sure if that helps answer the questions or not