The default tolerance of PostGIS ST_Intersects query is "0.00001 meters" as indicated in the doc. I need to use the same query with another tolerance value but ST_Intersects takes only 2 input parameters (geom A and geom B).

Is there a way to change this default value?

  • Have you checked this gis.stackexchange.com/questions/157092/set-tolerance-in-postgis ?
    – Shiko
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 7:22
  • Yes I have checked this discussion, and have tried ST_Dwithin but it takes much more time than ST_Intersects
    – Adam Adam
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 7:31
  • There is solution but not straightforward, PostGIS is opensource so you can update the value and compile github.com/postgis/postgis/blob/…
    – Shiko
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 8:11
  • 1
    Use ST_SnapToGrid first, which effectively rounds the geometries, before ST_Intersects. Note, ST_Intersects and ST_Within are not the same thing, and the latter has to do more work, so would take longer. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 8:15
  • 1
    This is not a duplicate, because this is about the geography type, which does use a tolerance. The linked question is about the geometry type which does not. Please don't vote to close questions that you don't understand.
    – dbaston
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 13:00

1 Answer 1


PostGIS is opensource, indeed you can create a new function for ST_INTERSECT with Tolerance parameter as input or update the function itself with value you are interested in, then run it.
Here is the code snippet where tolerance is dynamic, you can run below script in your DB and it will be create under PUBLIC schema :

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION ST_Intersects(geography, geography,float8)
    RETURNS boolean
    AS 'SELECT $1 && $2 AND _ST_Distance($1, $2, 0.0, false) < $3'

Link for original function of ST_Intersects(geo,geo):

  • Except either remove @extschema@. or replace it with the extension schema e.g. public
    – Mike T
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 21:44
  • @MikeT Thanks, I updated to public and rectify the function.
    – Shiko
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 4:43
  • @Shiko thank you for the detailed reply. I have not tested the solution yet. I have another problem with GEOS (self-intersection and OGC Simple Feature specification..) I'll give the result as soon as possible
    – Adam Adam
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 15:05
  • I did this : CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION public.st_intersects(geometry, geometry, double precision) RETURNS boolean AS 'SELECT $1 OPERATOR(public.&&) $2 AND public._ST_Distance($1, $2, 0.0, false) < $3' LANGUAGE sql IMMUTABLE I got this error message when I launch a query: Only lon/lat coordinate systems are supported in geography Note that my data are in metric projection
    – Adam Adam
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 11:46
  • Sorry I did not manage to format my comment
    – Adam Adam
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 11:57

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