[postgis-users] Why doesn't postgis do more with projections and SRID's? ( was: What is the tolerance parameter for simplify? )

Ethan Alpert ealpert at digitalglobe.com
Tue Jan 4 06:06:56 PST 2005

Having simplify use the units of the projection probably was easier to implement but what does it really mean to use a 1/10 of a degree of tolerance? Why doesn't postgis allow the use of more reasonable values say meters? Why don't more functions work more like distance_spheroid (where you provide a spheroid to use for computation)?  I ran into the same problem with area. What possible use is there knowing the degrees^2 of a polygon? It would seem that with the SRID and the proper spheroid more intuitive values could be used for functions like area and simplify and area. To compute areas for my data I know have to read my data out of the database, reproject it and compute my values. It would be much more convenient and less error prone if the database could do this for me.
So what are the reasons for not providing this type of functionality in the database?


From: strk at refractions.net [mailto:strk at refractions.net]
Sent: Tue 1/4/2005 1:23 AM
To: Ethan Alpert
Cc: postgis-users at postgis.refractions.net
Subject: Re: [postgis-users] What is the tolerance parameter for simplify?

On Mon, Jan 03, 2005 at 05:41:02PM -0700, Ethan Alpert wrote:
> Just curious what the units are. I have geometries in SRID 4326 (lat/lon
> wgs84) so what units would the tolerance parameter be in when calling
> simplify?
> Thanks,
> -e

It would be the units of the projection.
Decimal degrees in your case.


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