PostGIS 1.4 is finally out and other news

I am very excited to report that we have finally released PostGIS 1.4. We are still preparing the windows binaries UPDATE: Windows binaries are now available and installers which will become available in the coming week for PostgreSQL 8.2,8.3, and 8.4. Below are the details excerpted from Paul Ramsey's postgis news announcement. We also recently came back from OSCON 2009 where we gave a talk on Tips and Tricks for writing PostGIS spatial queries. In that talk we showcased some of the new features of PostGIS 1.4, as well as demonstrating how the new Windowing and Common Table Expressions introduced in PostgreSQL 8.4 simplifies and provides more options for writing PostGIS spatial queries. We'll be making the slides and data available shortly.

RefCardz DZone PostgreSQL Essentials -- stay tuned

On another exciting note, not only are we working on our upcoming Manning book PostGIS in Action, but we have contracted with DZone RefCardZ to do a PostgreSQL Essentials. Recall we had discussed this a while back that how come there is one for MySQL, but none for PostgreSQL and that someone should write one up for PostgreSQL, preferrably someone who is writing a PostgreSQL related book. So I guess that someone would be us.

We are currently finalizing our first draft of this. Sadly we are a little behind on schedule, but hope to make the time up in the coming month. We'll provide more details on sponsorship and availability as the story unfolds. You can expect to see the general essential stuff like, backup, restore, the growing family of PostgeSQL PL/Languages and examples of them, basic architecture, common SQL constructs. In addition we will show case some of the new PostgreSQL 8.4 enhancements.

PostGIS 1.4 news announcement

This is excerpted from PostGIS newsgroup announcment. Yes there really was a lot of meditation and soul searching here, and a bit too much for my liking.

July 24, 2009

The PostGIS development team has, after a long period of meditation
and soul searching, released version 1.4.0 of the spatial data
extension for PostgreSQL.

This new version of PostGIS includes substantial performance
enhancements, more detailed reference documentation, new output
formats (GeoJSON) and an improved internal testing system. PostGIS 1.4
also supports the recent PostgreSQL 8.4 release.

Thanks to everyone who helped by testing during the release candidate process!

Your PostGIS Team

-- Detailed PostGIS 1.4 Release Notes --

  - As of the 1.4 release series, the public API of PostGIS will not
		change during minor releases.

 - Compatibility
  - The versions below are the *minimum* requirements for PostGIS 1.4
  - PostgreSQL 8.2 and higher on all platforms
  - GEOS 3.0 and higher only
  - PROJ4 4.5 and higher only

 - New Features
  - ST_Union() uses high-speed cascaded union when compiled against
		GEOS 3.1+ (Paul Ramsey)
  - ST_ContainsProperly() requires GEOS 3.1+
  - ST_Intersects(), ST_Contains(), ST_Within() use high-speed cached
		prepared geometry against GEOS 3.1+ (Paul Ramsey)
  - Vastly improved documentation and reference manual
		(Regina Obe & Kevin Neufeld)
  - Figures and diagram examples in the reference manual (Kevin Neufeld)
  - ST_IsValidReason() returns readable explanations for validity
		failures (Paul Ramsey)
  - ST_GeoHash() returns a signature for geometries
		(Paul Ramsey)
  - GTK+ multi-platform GUI for shape file loading (Paul Ramsey)
  - ST_LineCrossingDirection() returns crossing directions (Paul Ramsey)
  - ST_LocateBetweenElevations() returns sub-string based on Z-ordinate.
		(Paul Ramsey)
  - Geometry parser returns explicit error message about location of
		syntax errors (Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - ST_AsGeoJSON() return JSON formatted
  - Populate_Geometry_Columns() -- automatically add records to
		geometry_columns for TABLES and VIEWS (Kevin Neufeld)
  - ST_MinimumBoundingCircle() -- returns the smallest circle
		polygon that can encompass a geometry (Bruce Rindahl)

 - Enhancements
  - Core geometry system moved into independent library, liblwgeom.
		(Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - New build system uses PostgreSQL "pgxs" build bootstrapper.
		(Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - Debugging framework formalized and simplified. (Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - All build-time #defines generated at configure time and placed in
		headers for easier cross-platform support (Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - Logging framework formalized and simplified (Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - Expanded and more stable support for CIRCULARSTRING,
		wider support in functions (Mark Leslie & Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - Improved support for OpenSolaris builds (Paul Ramsey)
  - Improved support for MSVC builds (Mateusz Loskot)
  - Updated KML support (Olivier Courtin)
  - Unit testing framework for liblwgeom (Paul Ramsey)
  - New testing framework to comprehensively exercise every
	PostGIS function (Regine Obe)
  - Performance improvements to all geometry aggregate
	functions (Paul Ramsey)
  - Support for the upcoming PostgreSQL 8.4 (Mark Cave-Ayland,
	Talha Bin Rizwan)
  - Shp2pgsql and pgsql2shp re-worked to depend on
	the common parsing/unparsing code in liblwgeom (Mark Cave-Ayland)
  - Use of PDF DbLatex to build PDF docs and preliminary
	instructions for build  (Jean David Techer)
  - Automated User documentation build (PDF and HTML) and
	Developer Doxygen Documentation (Kevin Neufeld)
  - Automated build of document images using ImageMagick
	from WKT geometry text files (Kevin Neufeld)
  - More attractive CSS for HTML documentation
	(Dane Springmeyer)
 - Bug fixes