Is it possible to store 3D features such as dome into geospatial database such as PostGIS?

I know that it can store x,y,z data, can such complex features be stored into database?

  • Are you meaning the 3D equivalent of a true curve?
    – PolyGeo
    May 22, 2014 at 11:15
  • It is not necessary be a true curve, but the way of describing such shape. May 22, 2014 at 11:31
  • You can store CityGML in PostGIS databases. May 22, 2014 at 13:53
  • I have just had researched on it, how about TIN and POLYHEDRALSURFACE? May 22, 2014 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


PostGIS 2.0 and higher has several 3D geometry types:

For 3-D and 4-D geometries, the extra dimensions are added as extra coordinates for each vertex in the geometry, and the geometry type is enhanced to indicate how to interpret the extra dimensions. Adding the extra dimensions results in three extra possible geometry types for each geometry primitive:

  • Point (a 2-D type)i is joined by PointZ, PointM and PointZM types.
  • Linestring (a 2-D type) is joined by LinestringZ, LinestringM and LinestringZM types.
  • Polygon (a 2-D type) is joined by PolygonZ, PolygonM and PolygonZM types.

And so on.


In addition to higher-dimensional forms of the standard types, PostGIS includes a few new types that make sense in a 3-D space:

  • The TIN type allows you to model triangular meshes as rows in your database.
  • The POLYHEDRALSURFACE allows you to model volumetric objects in your database.


  • What is the difference of TIN and POLYHEDRALSURFACE in terms of their usage? May 23, 2014 at 2:07
  • 1
    @HaroldChan: TIN is just the top surface of a terrain or similar surface. Polyhedron has all sides represented - more complex.
    – Martin F
    May 23, 2014 at 2:10

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