Installing PostGIS

PostGIS adds geographic object support to PostgreSQL, turning it into a spatial database. GEOS, PROJ.4 and GDAL should be installed prior to building PostGIS. You might also need additional libraries, see PostGIS requirements.


The psycopg2 module is required for use as the database adapter when using GeoDjango with PostGIS.

On Debian/Ubuntu, you are advised to install the following packages: postgresql-x.x, postgresql-x.x-postgis, postgresql-server-dev-x.x, python-psycopg2 (x.x matching the PostgreSQL version you want to install). Please also consult platform-specific instructions if you are on Mac OS X or Windows.

Building from source

First download the source archive, and extract:

$ wget
$ tar xzf postgis-2.1.5.tar.gz
$ cd postgis-2.1.5

Next, configure, make and install PostGIS:

$ ./configure

Finally, make and install:

$ make
$ sudo make install
$ cd ..


GeoDjango does not automatically create a spatial database. Please consult the section on Creating a spatial database for more information.


Creating a spatial database

PostGIS 2 includes an extension for Postgres 9.1+ that can be used to enable spatial functionality:

$ createdb  <db name>
$ psql <db name>

The database user must be a superuser in order to run CREATE EXTENSION postgis;. The command is run during the migrate process.

GeoDjango does not currently leverage any PostGIS topology functionality. If you plan to use those features at some point, you can also install the postgis_topology extension by issuing CREATE EXTENSION postgis_topology;.

Managing the database

To administer the database, you can either use the pgAdmin III program (Start ‣ PostgreSQL 9.x ‣ pgAdmin III) or the SQL Shell (Start ‣ PostgreSQL 9.x ‣ SQL Shell). For example, to create a geodjango spatial database and user, the following may be executed from the SQL Shell as the postgres user:

postgres# CREATE USER geodjango PASSWORD 'my_passwd';
postgres# CREATE DATABASE geodjango OWNER geodjango;
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