[postgis-users] Visualizing PostGIS 3D geometries

Tom van Tilburg tom.van.tilburg at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 04:22:27 PDT 2015

I think 3D is still in it's infancy in the world of GIS, so for many 
things you have to things manually.

If it's just visualizing, you may try to export them as X3D and open 
them in an X3D capable viewer.

Regina made a first (impressive) effort on a viewer with this:

but you can also directly output a valid x3d file from an SQL query:


On 7-7-2015 21:44, Hillier, Michael wrote:
> Greetings,
> I am searching for advice on how to visualize PostGIS 3D geometries: PointZ, PolygonZ, TinZ. So far I have tested out:
>    *   ArcScene - supports pointz and polygonz. but many issues with polygonz and confirmed by ESRI
>    *   pg3Dviewer - only supports Pointz. Although, was never able to visualize it even with their test dataset and tutorial.
>    *   QGIS - only supports 2D geometry - 3rd dimension ignored
>    *   Grass GIS - extremely difficult to use (I am not a GIS expert): connecting to database, creating new mapset, vector map etc. I was able to connect to the database and see my tables, figured out the mapset and vector map system. But the only thing it seems to pull in from the table is the id column and not the geometry.
> Honestly, the issues I have gone through to visualize simple 3D PostGIS geometries doesn't make sense to me. Shouldn't there be a simple environment to connect to the PostgreSQL/PostGIS database and visualize the 3D geometries? Or have I really missed something here? If there isn't what is the point in having standardized geometries on a S-DBMS if you can't visualize them?
> Is it expected that some advanced end user develop their own software using some visualization toolkit like VTK to visualize these geometries?
> Many thanks for any advice/guidance.
> Michael
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