We are using QGIS 1.8 and Sqlserver 2008.Following http://hub.qgis.org/issues/8525 solution we have created table geometry_columns. since we already have lots of table how do I fill this table geometry_columns? Is there any tool?

I started by making table as mention in the bug post(geometry_columns):

 CREATE TABLE [dbo].[geometry_columns](
        [f_table_catalog] [varchar](128) NOT NULL,
        [f_table_schema] [varchar](128) NOT NULL,
        [f_table_name] [varchar](256) NOT NULL,
        [f_geometry_column] [varchar](256) NOT NULL,
        [coord_dimension] [int] NOT NULL,
        [srid] [int] NOT NULL,
        [geometry_type] [varchar](30) NOT NULL,
     CONSTRAINT [geometry_columns_pk] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED 
        [f_table_catalog] ASC,
        [f_table_schema] ASC,
        [f_table_name] ASC,
        [f_geometry_column] ASC

Now some TSQL to insert data into geometry_columns :

DECLARE @RowsToProcess INT
DECLARE @SelectCol_schema_name NVARCHAR(100)
DECLARE @SelectCol_table_name NVARCHAR(100)
DECLARE @run_sql NVARCHAR(max)
DECLARE @run_update NVARCHAR(max)
DECLARE @Selected_geometry_type NVARCHAR(100)

DELETE FROM [dbo].[geometry_columns]

CREATE TABLE #spatialTables (
    RowID INT NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY identity(1, 1)
    ,f_table_catalog NVARCHAR(128) NOT NULL
    ,f_table_schema NVARCHAR(100)
    ,f_table_name NVARCHAR(256) NOT NULL
    ,f_geometry_column NVARCHAR(256) NOT NULL
    ,coord_dimension INT NOT NULL
    ,[srid] [int] NOT NULL
    ,[geometry_type] [varchar](30) NOT NULL

INSERT INTO #spatialTables
    ,2 AS coord_dimension
FROM information_schema.columns c
JOIN information_schema.tables t ON c.TABLE_NAME = t.TABLE_NAME
        'BASE TABLE'
WHERE c.DATA_TYPE = 'geometry'

SET @RowsToProcess = @@ROWCOUNT
SET @CurrentRow = 0

WHILE @CurrentRow < @RowsToProcess
    SET @CurrentRow = @CurrentRow + 1

    SELECT @SelectCol_schema_name = f_table_schema
        ,@SelectCol_table_name = f_table_name
    FROM #spatialTables
    WHERE RowID = @CurrentRow

    SET @run_sql = 'select TOP 1 @table_geometry_type= SP_GEOMETRY.STGeometryType() from ' + @SelectCol_schema_name + '.' + @SelectCol_table_name

    EXECUTE sp_executesql @run_sql
        ,N'@table_geometry_type nvarchar(100) OUTPUT'
        ,@table_geometry_type = @Selected_geometry_type OUTPUT
    --print @Selected_geometry_type

    --SET @run_update = 'update #spatialTables  set [geometry_type] = ''' + @Selected_geometry_type + ''' where [f_table_name]=''' + @SelectCol_table_name + ''''
    set @run_update='update #spatialTables set [geometry_type] = '''+@Selected_geometry_type+
    ''',coord_dimension = '+
    when '''+@Selected_geometry_type +'''= ''Point''
    Then 0
    when '''+@Selected_geometry_type +'''= ''LineString''
    Then 1
    Else 2
    +' where [f_table_name]='''+@SelectCol_table_name+''''
    EXECUTE sp_executesql @run_update

    --PRINT @run_update

INSERT INTO [dbo].[geometry_columns]
SELECT [f_table_catalog]
FROM #spatialTables

DROP TABLE #spatialTables

Note :

  1. I got first five columns with ease querying information_schema
  2. But to get [coord_dimension] , [srid] , [geometry_type] I had to do some loop.
  3. I think coord_dimension is 0,1,2 from point,Line,Polygon

So, here is the question:

  • A. I have no performance boost it takes same time.Is there any mistake? --> I got the performance boost. I need to select only look in geometry_columns when creating MSSQL Connection.
  • B. SQL server has MultiLineString Data type if 3 is correct then what is it's cood_dimension value?

So, my problem here is I am not about to find information update geometry_type. How do I get geometry type information without quering any specific tables geometry column. Is there any tool to generate this table in QGIS for sqlserver?


1 Answer 1


I have a script that I use to populate the table, which works, kinda, mostly... but I'm not allowed to post it...

But, it uses the Top 1 from each table, and uses this: SP_GEOMETRY.STGeometryType() to get the geometry type of one entry.

Here's what I use, which works:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[geometry_columns](
[f_table_catalog] [varchar](50) NULL,
[f_table_schema] [varchar](50) NULL,
[f_table_name] [varchar](100) NULL,
[f_geometry_column] [varchar](50) NULL,
[coord_dimension] [int] NULL,
[srid] [int] NULL,
[geometry_type] [varchar](50) NULL

and I have entries like this:

f_table_catalog f_table_schema  f_table_name    f_geometry_column   coord_dimension srid    geometry_type
GISDB   dbo Accuracy    SP_GEOMETRY 1   28355   LineString
GISDB   dbo AssetAreas  SP_GEOMETRY 2   28355   Polygon

QGIS can read these and gives me a list of our ~50 layers instantly.

I also added my SRID to another table spatial_ref_sys:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[spatial_ref_sys](
[srid] [int] NOT NULL,
[auth_name] [varchar](256) NULL,
[auth_srid] [int] NULL,
[srtext] [varchar](2048) NULL,
[proj4text] [varchar](2048) NULL

entry like this:

srid    auth_name   auth_srid   srtext  proj4text
28355   epsg    28355   +proj=utm +zone=55 +south +ellps=GRS80 +towgs84=0,0,0,0,0,0,0 +units=m +no_defs     PROJCS["GDA94 / MGA zone 55",GEOGCS["GDA94",DATUM["Geocentric_Datum_of_Australia_1994",SPHEROID["GRS 1980",6378137,298.257222101,AUTHORITY["EPSG","7019"]],TOWGS84[0,0,0,0,0,0,0],AUTHORITY["EPSG","6283"]],PRIMEM["Greenwich",0,AUTHORITY["EPSG","8901"]],UNIT["degree",0.01745329251994328,AUTHORITY["EPSG","9122"]],AUTHORITY["EPSG","4283"]],UNIT["metre",1,AUTHORITY["EPSG","9001"]],PROJECTION["Transverse_Mercator"],PARAMETER["latitude_of_origin",0],PARAMETER["central_meridian",147],PARAMETER["scale_factor",0.9996],PARAMETER["false_easting",500000],PARAMETER["false_northing",10000000],AUTHORITY["EPSG","28355"],AXIS["Easting",EAST],AXIS["Northing",NORTH]]

Note that you can get these from spatialreference.org, like this: http://spatialreference.org/ref/epsg/28355/postgis/, just modify it for SQL Server syntax.

  • you have left srid and geometry type column null. Also,the link you mentioned spatialreference.org/ref/epsg/28355/postgis inserts data manually. Is the data value always same? Is there any way I could generate from within database?
    – kinkajou
    Sep 16, 2013 at 2:13
  • No I didn't. There's 7 columns, 7 entries. The link I mentioned is for adding an entry to the spatial_ref_sys table, which only needs one entry for each SRS you use. That data stays the same. The entries in geometry_columns can be generated from the database, but not easily. I wanted to set up a view to do it automatically... but didn't get there.
    – Alex Leith
    Sep 16, 2013 at 5:38
  • Does coord_dimension refer to point/line/polygon 0,1,2 ?
    – kinkajou
    Sep 16, 2013 at 7:27
  • "coord_dimension and srid define the the dimension of the geometry (2-, 3- or 4-dimensional) and the Spatial Reference system identifier that refers to the spatial_ref_sys table respectively" From here: workshops.opengeo.org/postgis-intro/geometries.html
    – Alex Leith
    Sep 16, 2013 at 22:14

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