I have an sql table that has some data on retail locations with lat, long coordinates. My application queries the table to pull the data using python. Here's some sample data:


id  name   lat       long
1   post   37.788151 -122.407570
2   sutter 37.789551 -122.408302
3   oak    37.815730 -122.288810

I have a point coordinate 37.785980 and -122.410851, and I'd like to find rows from the table that are nearby, say within 0.5 mile radius from the coordinate.

Performance matters. I cannot query all rows due to poor performance, long time sending data to client application and storage / memory issues. Therefore, I need a SQL based solution.

Using SQL in python, how do I implement an efficient solution that does proximity search and returns rows that meet the distance condition? Here's how I pull data from sql in python.

# mysql connection
import pymysql
from sqlalchemy import create_engine
user = 'user1'
pwd = 'pwd'
host =  'xxxx.1.rds.amazonaws.com'
port = 3306
database = 'db1'
engine = create_engine("mysql+pymysql://{}:{}@{}/{}".format(user,pwd,host,database))

# Readdata
con = engine.connect()

query = '''
        SELECT x
        FROM table1
        GROUP BY key

df = pd.read_sql(query, con)


Happy to share more info if required for context.

1 Answer 1


I had the very same problem, this post by Paul Spiegel may help you


Copy-pasted Code from his answer:

drop temporary table if exists Placemark;
create temporary table Placemark(
    Name varchar(50),
    Coordinates point

insert into Placemark(Name, Coordinates) values
    ('p1', POINT(-118.2845938, 34.0252385)),
    ('p2', POINT(-118.2867610, 34.0221188)),
    ('p3', POINT(-118.2905912, 34.0227248)),
    ('p4', POINT(-118.284119 , 34.021846 )),
    ('p5', POINT(-118.2864676, 34.0186438)),
    ('p6', POINT(-118.2886342, 34.0203211)),
    ('p7', POINT(-118.2907290, 34.0193680)),
    ('p8', POINT(-118.2831326, 34.0192874)),
    ('p9', POINT(-118.2828242, 34.0205473));

SET @home = ST_GeomFromText('POINT(-118.2819136 34.0261177)');

    ST_AsText(P.Coordinates) as Coordinates,
    ST_DISTANCE(@home, P.Coordinates) AS dist 
FROM Placemark P

The result:

Name | Coordinates                    | dist
p1   | POINT(-118.2845938 34.0252385) | 0.00282072059587649
p4   | POINT(-118.284119 34.021846)   | 0.00480741199088132
p9   | POINT(-118.2828242 34.0205473) | 0.00564433773972052

Demo: http://rextester.com/GMPK57301

To define a POINT use either POINT(-118.2845938, 34.0252385) or ST_GeomFromText('POINT(-118.2845938 34.0252385)'). To see the value in a readable form use ST_AsText().

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