I have a line network and I am placing points at equal intervals along each line. These points will be used to cut the lines into segments. I have found a way to create the points along the lines:

CREATE TABLE split_pt as

WITH line AS 
    FROM line_table),
linemeasure AS
        ST_AddMeasure(line.geom, 0, ST_Length(line.geom)) AS linem,
        generate_series(0, ST_Length(line.geom)::int, 160.9) AS i
    FROM line),
geometries AS (
        (ST_Dump(ST_GeometryN(ST_LocateAlong(linem, i), 1))).geom AS geom 
    FROM linemeasure)

    row_number() over() as id,
    ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(ST_X(geom), ST_Y(geom)), 3857) AS geom
FROM geometries;

However, I have two problems:

  1. I'm getting around 400 duplicate points
  2. About 60% of the points are not actually on the line so running the subsequent ST_Split() with these points against the lines doesn't work in most instances.

I am looking for help to eliminate duplicate points and to ensure that the points I create in the above query will return True on ST_Intersects(). I'd like to be able to incorporate these two aspects in the the above query and not in subsequent steps, if possible.

  • 2
    could you add a simple input geometry and the result of the intermediate results
    – Ian Turton
    Oct 8, 2019 at 16:43
  • 3
    Due to the limitations of IEEE floating-point values, it might not be possible for a point to land exactly on a line.
    – Vince
    Oct 8, 2019 at 17:36
  • 1
    doubling point removal: DELETE from geometries WHERE NOT id IN( SELECT min(id) as idpnt from geometries group by geom); Oct 8, 2019 at 19:06
  • 1
    It's a pity that this is actually the case, because users assume that the point should be exactly on the line, and that's a lie, it would still be a lie to understand what the concept of a line in postgis is - it's hair, it's nano hair, how thick the line is, etc., etc. ? I've seen the JGH answer, but it doesn't solve your problem... Oct 9, 2019 at 16:36
  • 2
    PostGIS interpolates between vertices, it's functional minimal unit for most geometries (e.g. a line) is a point array, and trigonometry; floating point error is the issue here. ST_QuantizeCoordinates can help, but really you should be looking at ST_LineSubstring.
    – geozelot
    Oct 9, 2019 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Better look at using ST_LineSubstring; no issues with coordinate precision, but somewhat tricky to set up...

Edit: I then packed it into a more sophisticated set of functions a while ago; there's a C function add-on as well, for those who like to build from source.

I packed that functionality into a (naive) function a few years ago:


  length     FLOAT8,

) RETURNS SETOF geometry_dump AS


    len_frac  FLOAT8;
    s_frac    FLOAT8;
    e_frac    FLOAT8;


    IF ($3)
      THEN  len_frac := $2 / ST_Length(geom::GEOGRAPHY);
      ELSE  len_frac := $2 / ST_Length(geom);
    END IF;

    FOR n IN 0..CEIL(1.0 / len_frac)
        s_frac := len_frac * n;
        IF (s_frac >= 1.0)
        END IF;
        e_frac := len_frac * (n + 1);
        IF (e_frac > 1.0)
            e_frac := 1.0;
        END IF;
        RETURN NEXT (ARRAY[n + 1], ST_LineSubstring($1, s_frac, e_frac));
      END LOOP;


  LANGUAGE plpgsql;

The function accepts:

  • a LineString GEOMETRY
  • a Length value by which the given LineString should be divided
    (until the last element which will be of the rest length)
  • a Switch to set the given length to be interpreted as meter; defaults to TRUE
    (input geometry needs to be in EPSG:4326; it really just casts to GEOGAPHY for the fraction calculation)

The function returns a SETOF geometry_dump (a RECORD just like e.g. ST_Dump) having:

  • a path value (INTEGER[]) indicating the position of the current row in the extraction starting from the beginning of the input LineString
  • a geom member (GEOMETRY)

A record looks like:

({1}, 01020000000200000000000000000000000000000000000000A65F8237663FC13F0000000000000000)
({2}, 010200000002000000A65F8237663FC13F0000000000000000A65F8237663FD13F0000000000000000)


SELECT * FROM ST_LineSubstringByLength('LINESTRING(0 0, 5 0)'::GEOMETRY, 15000);
SELECT * FROM ST_LineSubstringByLength('LINESTRING(0 0, 5 0)'::GEOMETRY, 1, FALSE);

SELECT id, (dmp).path[1], (dmp).geom
FROM   <table_with_geom_and_id_columns>,
       LATERAL ST_LineSubstringByLength(geom, <length_in_meter?>[, TRUE|FALSE]) AS dmp
  • 1
    It's trivial btw. to alter this function to accept an integer value of segments it should divide the input LineString into. I use a customized PostGIS version on my machine where I add all those things that I can directly into the C function base; it's trivial to have these functions then to return segments for any geometry (using e.g. the boundaries)...and it's about 10 to 100 times faster. if you don't mind building from source...?
    – geozelot
    Oct 24, 2019 at 13:48

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