I have a Postgres table "files" with a lat/lon location field of type geography(GeometryCollection,4326). Right now the field only contains lat/lon polygons. I have succeeded in creating a gist index for the field and in doing a bounding box search with a search polygon:

select fileid, file_name, ST_AsText(location) 
from files 
where location && ST_MakeEnvelope (-81.0, 22.0, -76.0, 27.0);

But, I need to do a fully intersection search but I hit the restriction that ST_Intersection() does not accept a GeometryCollection. Maybe I could use ST_Distance() since I only need to know if a search area intersects a location area, not what the intersection area is. But I don't see any way to specify a spherical earth calculation, and that is probably all I need most of the time. I have been thinking about changing the field to a multipolygon since that would probably work.

It looks like ST_Distance() will work for what I need to do. It accepts a GeometryCollection and actually will do spherical earth calculations.

1 Answer 1


You can use ST_Dump to explode your collection and use ST_Intersects against the resulting SET:

  select fileid, file_name, (st_dump(location)).geom as geom
  from files
  ) a
where ST_Intersects(geom::geometry, ST_MakeEnvelope (-81.0, 22.0, -76.0, 27.0, 4326))
group by fileid, file_name

Not sure if PostGIS will use an index on that query or if you can create an index for st_dump. You might need to evaluate with EXPLAIN ANALYZE.

Try using:

CREATE index idx_files_location_dump ON files USING gist((st_dump(location::geometry)).geom)

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