I have a table with the below structure:

geom name ownership
01031... foo landlord
01032... foo landlord
01033... baz landlord
01034... bar tenant
01035... bar tenant
01036... bar tenant

Landlords own a wide area and tenants own a small section within.

So, the geom of the tenant will at least intersect with the geom of the landlord.

I want to be able to search for a landlord by name, (select * from table where name = 'foo' and ownership = 'landlord';) and get all of the geoms that the landlord owns and get the tenants with geoms inside those geoms.

Likewise, I want to search for a tenant, get all of the buildings they rent and find all of the enclosing landlord geoms.

Conceptually can't get my head around it. Is ST_Intersects the right method?

1 Answer 1


Yes, ST_Intersects is the right message. You need to join a subset of the table (with the landlord of interest) to another subset (with the tenants), using ST_Intersects. Give the first subset the alias l and the second one the alias t.

SELECT t.name
FROM   table l 
JOIN   table t ON ST_Intersects(t.geom, l.geom)
WHERE  l.name = 'foo' AND l.ownership = 'landlord'
       AND t.ownership = 'tenant'

You might also want ST_Within or ST_Contains rather than ST_Intersects. See the examples here.

  • 1
    This syntax hasn't been used since ANSI 92 was released. Always use JOIN in anything released after Oracle 7
    – Vince
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 23:31
  • fair enough, updated the syntax.
    – amball
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 0:08
  • 1
    "This syntax hasn't been used since ANSI 92 was released" citation needed, I see it all the time. I understand why people prefer explicit joins but being hyperbolic is unnecessary.
    – GammaGames
    Commented Sep 6, 2023 at 16:05

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