[postgis-devel] Uses of PostGIS 2.0 Topology?

maplabs at light42.com maplabs at light42.com
Sun Oct 23 10:31:52 PDT 2011

First, I have to tell you I am a practical person by nature.. 
I want to find applied uses - although I enjoy theory, I want to use 
tools in the real world. 

I built a 'place' topology from TIGER, using the scripts provided by 
robe2 et al
It worked very well, and was straightforward. Success! The result is a 
road network.. 
  to my mind, useful for routing, primarily.  (I personally am not 
going to be doing routing)

I get the feeling that topology is one of those topics in which the 
theory is very well developed
over the last 150 years or so.. paper and pencil.. So much theory in 
fact, that it becomes
difficult to find basic treatments of fundemental concepts... I am 
suspicious of theory for its own
sake.. theory to make more theory... 

The very first thing I wanted to use a topology for, was for land use 
analysis.. Count and compare.. 
Using standard PostGIS geometry to compare against a topologically 
consistant model.. I asked strk
about the operators to do this briefly, and got disconcerting answers.. 
Topology it seems, is in its
own world. I asked rburhum, a former geo-database engineer, and he said 
that the ESRI implementation
of topology is similar.. it is in its own world, and does not mix 
easily with other geometry.. 

So I ask - what do people think are the good uses for PostGIS 2.0 Topology ?
Is topology in its "own world," for its own purposes ?
Is it practical to mix with other, standard geometry, for analysis?

thanks in advance

Brian Hamlin
Geo Cal
OSGeo California Chapter
415-717-4462 cell

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