I have a table with MULTILINESTRING objects and I want to build a query that outputs the shortest distances between every MULTILINESTRING object and a specific point (the same for all records) using PostGIS. The coordinate system is WGS84.

I'd like a result like the following:

MULTILINESTRING(....) distance1
MULTILINESTRING(....) distance2
MULTILINESTRING(....) distance3

I have tried commands like the following:

SELECT ST_AsText(ST_Distance(geom, st_GeomFromText('POINT(25.3622 35.3621)'), 4326))
FROM my_table;

But it raises the following error:

ERROR:  function st_distance(geometry, geometry, integer) does not exist
LINE 1: SELECT ST_AsText(ST_Distance(geom, st_GeomFromText('POINT(25...
HINT:  No function matches the given name and argument types. You might need to add explicit type casts.
********** Error ********** **********

I feel that the answer is easy but I have no much experience in SQL.


After more searching I think that I'm closer to the solution. I run the following SQL code in order to calculate the shortest distance between a Point and Multilinestring records from "my_table" table:

SELECT geom FROM my_table
ORDER BY ST_Distance(geom, ST_SetSRID(ST_GeogFromText('POINT(25.3622 35.3621)'), 4326),

This code works and gives me the geometry with the shortest distance:

<geometry object>

But how can I take the corresponding number (distance) ?

2 Answers 2


Finally I managed to find the solution. The code that retrieves all the distances between every MultiLineString record in a table and a specific point:

SELECT ST_Distance(geom, ST_SetSRID(ST_GeogFromText('POINT(25.3622 35.3621)'), 4326), true)
FROM my_table

And to retrieve the shortest distance between MultiLineString records and a Point:

SELECT MIN(ST_Distance(geom, ST_SetSRID(ST_GeogFromText('POINT(25.3622 35.3621)'), 4326), true))
FROM my_table

the thing is that you are passing 3 arguments to st_astext, if you just need the distance, the st_distance result is already the thing you need, just avoid using st_astext and you may have what you need:

ST_Distance(st_GeomFromText('POINT(20.3622 35.3621)'), st_GeomFromText('POINT(35.3622 35.3621)'))
--result: 15
  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. I know how use ST_Distance if I have two objects. The point of my question is how to use ST_Distance to calculate the distances between every record (multilinestring) of my_table and a Point (e.g POINT(20.3622 35.3621)).
    – Capdi
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 10:00

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