Querying spatial data in Amazon Redshift - Amazon Redshift

Querying spatial data in Amazon Redshift

Spatial data describes the position and shape of a geometry in a defined space (a spatial reference system). Amazon Redshift supports spatial data with the GEOMETRY data type, which contains spatial data and optionally the data's spatial reference system identifier (SRID).

Spatial data contains geometric data that you can use to represent geographic features. Examples of this type of data include weather reports, map directions, tweets with geographic positions, store locations, and airline routes. Spatial data plays an important role in business analytics, reporting, and forecasting.

You can query spatial data with Amazon Redshift SQL functions. Spatial data contains geometric values for an object.

Using spatial data, you can run queries to do the following:

  • Find the distance between two points.

  • Check whether one area (polygon) contains another.

  • Check whether one linestring intersects another linestring or polygon.

You can use the GEOMETRY data type to hold the values of spatial data. A GEOMETRY value in Amazon Redshift can define two-dimensional (2D) geometry primitive data types. Currently, Amazon Redshift doesn't support 3D or 4D geometry primitive data types. For more information about geometry primitive data types, see Well-known text representation of geometry in Wikipedia.

The GEOMETRY data type has the following subtypes:








There are Amazon Redshift SQL functions that support the following representations of geometric data:

  • GeoJSON

  • Well-known text (WKT)

  • Extended well-known text (EWKT)

  • Well-known binary (WKB) representation

  • Extended well-known binary (EWKB)

Amazon Redshift provides many SQL functions to query spatial data. Except for the ST_IsValid function, spatial functions that accept a GEOMETRY object as an argument expect this GEOMETRY object to be a valid geometry. If the GEOMETRY object isn't valid, then the behavior of the spatial function is undefined. For more information about validity, see Geometric validity.

For details about SQL functions to query spatial data, see Spatial functions.