I have two line layers in PostgreSQL/PostGIS. I want to the select data which are not intersecting. When I am writing this query it is taking a lot of time. How can I make it faster and see the result?

SELECT Geometry into Qlayer5
FROM qlayer4, egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline
WHERE st_intersects(qlayer59.Geometry,egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline.geom) = false  

and I have also tried using right join but none of them giving output.

SELECT Geometry INTO Qlayer5
FROM qlayer4
RIGHT JOIN egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline ON
st_intersects(qlayer59.Geometry,egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline.geom) = false 
  • non-intersections are tricky; your query will result in a carestian product of both tables, that's why it is so slow. your join condition matches every pair of lines that do not intersect; so if table A has 1 row and table B 100, with no intersection between them, you will get 100 rows returned!
    – geozelot
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 8:33
  • 1
    ...or better, when table A has 3 rows and B 100, with no intersection, your query will return 300 rows. similar, with 1000 in A and 1000 in B, Postgres fetches 1000000 rows after computing each of them...
    – geozelot
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 9:01
  • Ya understand but i dont find any other way to filter out non intersected lines.i am trying your queries now .Do you have any suggestions? Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 9:13
  • my suggestion is my answer. I'm just trying to explain why your query will fail with useless results after a lifetime of execution...,)
    – geozelot
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 9:17

2 Answers 2


Non-intersections are tricky. To avoid a cartesian product of the joined tables you need to either

  • check against a collection/union of the joined tables' geometries:

      col AS (
        SELECT ST_Collect(geom) AS geom
        FROM   egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline
    SELECT *
    FROM   qlayer4 AS a
    JOIN   col AS b
      ON   NOT ST_Intersects(a.geom, b.geom)

    which will be rather inefficient for larger tables (indexes are less effective and the amount of vertices to traverse each time is extremely high)

  • or better, check against existence of intersections:

    SELECT *
    FROM   qlayer4 AS a
      SELECT 1
      FROM   egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline AS b
      WHERE  ST_Intersects(a.geom, b.geom)

    which will at least use the index efficiently

Note that, even with the more optimized second query, this is a heavy operation and will likely take some time.

  • you genius. second query solved my problem almost Commented Apr 16, 2019 at 3:19

Try this first for seeing the result of your query:

SELECT a.Geometry
FROM qlayer4 AS a,
egmap_20170316_tmc_polyline AS b  
st_intersects(a.Geometry, b.geom) = false;

If it returns the expected result, insert the "INTO Qlayer5" statement.

  • Thank you @blabbath. This query i have tried earlier .it did not finish till two hours so, i stopped. Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 6:44
  • @poonampatel How many objects are in your tables? Have you set a spatial index?
    – blabbath
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 7:00
  • yes i have set spatial index .i have quite a huge data. Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 7:38
  • Then, depending on your hardware specs and tuning parameters, 2 hours might just not be enough time.
    – blabbath
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 7:45
  • I also think the same @blabbath. that is why i am looking for efficient solution Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 8:33

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