I have two Postgres tables with different SRIDs: 4326 and 900913. I want to convert the latter to 4326. I first changed the SRID using:

Select UpdateGeometrySRID('table', 'geomcolumn', 4326).  

I then transformed the reference data using:

update table set geomcolumn = ST_Transform (geomcolumn, 4326). 

This seemed to work. But when I changed the SRS setting of the relevant layer in TileMill to WGS84, I get this error:

Detected out of bounds geographic extent.

Presumably the transformation didn't work but it's not clear why.

  • I guess you want WGS84, which is EPSG:4326, not 4236.
    – AndreJ
    Sep 22, 2013 at 19:14
  • Quick question: is Tilemill faster if the geometry is WGS84? So is it worth converting each layer that uses a 900913 Projection to WGS84? Sorry.. I am a GIS noob ;)
    – Georg
    Jun 15, 2015 at 8:56

2 Answers 2


The transformation failed for your case since the UpdateGeometrySRID command just changes the metadata, but does not transform coordinates. And when you attempt a transform from 4326->4326, no transform is done since the SRIDs are equal.

If you have PostGIS 2.x with a table like this:

CREATE TABLE my_table (
  gid serial primary key,
  geom geometry(Point,900913),
  name text not null

the correct way to transform and change a geometry column's spatial reference system is to use the ALTER TABLE DDL:

ALTER TABLE my_table
    ALTER COLUMN geom TYPE geometry(Point,4326) USING ST_Transform(geom,4326);
  • I am trying to do the same thing but I cannot seem to get this ALTER TABLE command to work. ALTER TABLE Detail_Building_buildinglayer ALTER COLUMN Geometry TYPE geometry(Polygon,900913) USING ST_Transform(geom,2954); The error I get is relation "detail_building_buildinglayer" does not exist. I don't get this because that is the name of my table not a relation.
    – MrKingsley
    Jan 22, 2016 at 13:51
  • @TylerVeinot see stackoverflow.com/q/21796446/327026
    – Mike T
    Jan 22, 2016 at 21:09
  • Thanks, that was the issue; the program that made the geometry table named it Geometry and not geom. After reading that post I tried quotes so it would look for "Geometry" but it still failed. So, I changed the geometry column name to geom, ran the query and it worked; after I just changed the name back to "Geometry". I think the name and the case were causing problems.
    – MrKingsley
    Jan 23, 2016 at 15:45
  • 1
    Have you changed the database column name instead the column name in the SQL script??? Jesus!
    – Magno C
    May 20, 2016 at 17:26

It worked for me with this sequence:

CREATE TABLE tabla_900913 AS (SELECT ST_TRANSFORM(geom, 4326) FROM "tabla_4326")

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