Example: Retrieve Country Name for Coordinate Pair

Non-spatial functions (i.e. functions that don’t return spatial data) can also be accessed via pg_featureserv, as long as they are published in the postgisftw schema.

The following function example can be used with the ne.countries collection created in the Quick Start section. It shows a function that accepts longitude and latitude values, and returns the corresponding country (if any). Unlike the other function examples in this section, it does not return a table with a geometry type column.

Any kind of function in the postgisftw schema is published, which allows you even more flexible access to data. You can create functions that return statistics, summary records, populate dropdown lists or autocomplete suggestions, and more.

Create a non-spatial function that locates the country for a given coordinate pair

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION postgisftw.country_by_loc(
  lon numeric DEFAULT 0.0,
  lat numeric DEFAULT 0.0)
RETURNS TABLE(name text, abbrev text, postal text)
AS $$
   SELECT c.name::text, c.abbrev::text, c.postal::text
   FROM ne.countries c
   WHERE ST_Intersects(c.geom,
            ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(lon, lat), 4326))
   LIMIT 1;

COMMENT ON FUNCTION postgisftw.country_by_loc
IS 'Finds the country at a geographic location';


  • The function generates a Point based on the longitude and latitude values provided in the parameters.
  • The ne.countries table is filtered based on whether the point intersects a country polygon.
  • It’s possible that a point lies exactly on the boundary between two countries. Both country records will be included in the query result set, but LIMIT 1 restricts the result to a single record.

Example of API query

The coordinate pair (47,8) can be passed into the function:


Sample JSON response

The service returns data from non-spatial functions in JSON, instead of GeoJSON.