[postgis] WKB from PostGIS over ODBC

Paul Ramsey pramsey at refractions.net
Mon Jul 16 08:27:18 PDT 2001

> If this works I plan to write some AutoCad Map VBA classes that read and
> write GIS data from a PostgreSQL system.

Very cool idea Erik... that would be our first piece of interactive GIS
software using PostGIS as a backend... 

> The PostgreSQL ODBC news group might be a better place for this but I wonder
> if there are anyone out there who know if it should be possible to use a
> Postgis function like this from an ODBC client:
> select wkb_ndr(geom) where ...
> From the ODBC configuration settings I see that unknown types can be
> transferred as LongVarchar.

Our experience has been this (in C, not in ODBC): You can treat the long
varchar as a byte array, just ignore that they are characters and read
their 8bit encodings. However, we have found that the ODBC driver for
pgsql limits the size of things it will put into these structures. Even
passing them back as simple WKT strings, the ODBC driver will truncate
them at a fixed size (the default is 1024 bytes I think). You can up the
truncation limit in the driver configuration, however, but I do not
think there is a way to turn off the truncation behavior entirely.

> Basically I would like to do the query above using ODBC direct or something
> from Visual Basic, resulting in a byte array or something containing the wkb
> streams. I recon it will be faster to use this method than parsing/writing
> WKT strings on the client.

That is our guess as well. Certainly Dave's early work with the native
Mapserver mode indicates that we can be blazingly fast reading out of

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