I have a very extensive GPS track from which I am trying to reduce the number of plotted points. I though that I would be able to do so by grouping by a round of the timestamp /900 ( every 15 mins ), but thats not working.

Whats the correct way to reduce the resolution of the points returned.

SELECT row_to_json(featurecollection) AS route
        FROM (
                 'FeatureCollection'               AS type,
                 array_to_json(array_agg(feature)) AS features
               FROM (
                        'Feature'                                                             AS type,
                        lg.gid                                                                AS id,
                        ST_AsGeoJSON(ST_MakeLine(lg.start_itudes3d, lg.end_itudes3d)) :: JSON AS geometry,
                        row_to_json((SELECT property
                                     FROM (SELECT
                                             ) AS property))                      AS properties
                      FROM ( SELECT                 
                               itudes_3d::GEOMETRY                                    AS start_itudes3d,
                               MIN(timecol)                              AS start_time,
                               LEAD(itudes_3d::GEOMETRY) OVER (ORDER BY timecol ASC)  AS end_itudes3d,
                               LEAD(timecol) OVER (ORDER BY timecol ASC)                AS end_time,
                               MIN(id)                                                  AS gid
                             FROM gps_data
                             WHERE device_id = :vessel_id AND
                                   timecol >= 1499643073 AND
                                   timecol <= 1502321473 AND 
                                   active = TRUE AND
                                   deleted_at IS NULL
                             GROUP BY round(timecol/900), itudes_3d, timecol
                           ) AS lg
                    ) AS feature
             ) AS featurecollection
  • 1
    What didn't work? And in what way do you want to reduce points? Based on being close in distance or close in time ?
    – tilt
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 8:14
  • Our GPS units provide a very fine resolution. However in my front end I need to show the route they have taken overlaid in LeafletJS, which I am doing through GeoJSON. Furthermore I need the ability to click on the route and show the lat/lng and timestamp at that point which means I have to make up the route with lots of GeoJSON features (the ST_Makelines), each with their own popup details. Because of the high resolution and the fact that a track may occur over several weeks or months, I need to reduce the number of features to allow the UI to be responsive and not chew up all the memory.
    – Greg
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 22:40
  • So basically I am trying to reduce the number of points by time, although I could also have done it by distance...
    – Greg
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 22:42
  • In terms of what didnt work, the Group by round(timecol/900). I think it was because I also had to group by the itudes_3d and time col columns. I still ended up with over 46000 features for a days worth of GPS points regardless of whether I had the round in there or not.
    – Greg
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


You may want to use the ST_Simplify function:

— Returns a "simplified" version of the given geometry using the Douglas-Peucker algorithm.

This approach will simplify by distance instead of time like your approach.

Something like that should work:

select ST_Simplify(ST_MakeLine(itudes_3d))
from gps_data
where device_id = :vessel_id
and active = TRUE
and deleted_at IS NULL;

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