Gis Tricks

Postgis equivalent of erase in arcgis

Postgis equivalent of erase in arcgis

Recently I needed an ArcGIS equivalent of the erase function. This turns out to be hard to find. There are hints in the mailinglist, but no complete worked out example.


As Bborie points out it is quite simple. But I can image that if you are not that experienced you would like to have an example. I know I do!

The trick is that the polygons with which you erase have to be union together.


Blade polygons

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS blade_polygon_union;
CREATE TABLE blade_polygon_union AS
SELECT ST_Union(geom) as geom
FROM blade_polygon;


Blade polygons unioned

Now we can use them to erase from the polygons


Polygons original

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS polygons_erased;
CREATE TABLE polygons_erased AS
SELECT ST_Difference(a.geom, b.geom) as geom, *
FROM blade_polygon_union as b, polygons as a
WHERE a.geom && b.geom;


And the result:


Result after erase

Hope this helps, sadly this is not the quickest of procedures, especially on large areas. If someone has a quicker solution in which the union is not required I’d be happy to hear it.

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