Feature Collections

Following the OGC Features information model, the service API publishes PostGIS tables and views as feature collections.

The available feature collections are listed. Each feature collection can report metadata about its definition, and can be queried to return data sets of features. It is also possible to query individual features in tables which have defined primary keys.

Publish tables and views as feature collections

pg_featureserv publishes all spatial tables and views which are visible in the database.

Spatial tables and views are those which:

  • include a geometry column;
  • declare a geometry type; and,
  • declare an SRID (spatial reference ID).

Example of a spatial table

Here is a simple example of defining a spatial table which contains polygon geometries using coordinate system SRID = 4326. (See the PostGIS documentation for more information about creating spatial tables and using spatial reference systems.)

CREATE TABLE mytable (
    geom Geometry(Polygon, 4326),
    pid text,
    address text

Tables and views are visible when they are available for access based on the database access permissions defined for the service database user (role). See the Security section for examples of setting role privileges.

If a view directly uses the geometry column of an underlying table, the spatial column metadata is inherited for the view. But if a view column is defined as the result of a spatial function, then the column must be explicitly cast to a geometry type providing the type and SRID. Depending on the spatial function used, it may also be necessary to explicitly set the SRID of the created geometry.

Example of a view definition

CREATE VIEW my_points AS
  SELECT ST_SetSRID( ST_MakePoint( lon, lat ), 4326)::geometry(Point, 4326)
  FROM my_geo_table AS t;

The service uses the database catalog information to provide metadata about a feature collection backed by a table or view:

  • The feature collection ID is the schema-qualified name of the table or view.
  • The feature collection description is provided by the comment on the table or view.
  • The feature geometry is provided by the spatial column of the table or view.
  • The identifier for features is provided by the primary key column for a table (if any).
  • The property names and types are provided by the non-spatial columns of the table or view.
  • The description for properties is provided by the comments on table/view columns.

Example of comments on a table

COMMENT ON TABLE mytable IS 'This is my spatial table';
COMMENT ON COLUMN mytable.geom IS 'The geometry column contains polygons in SRS 4326';
COMMENT ON COLUMN mytable.pid IS 'The Parcel Identifier is the primary key';
COMMENT ON COLUMN mytable.address IS 'The address of the Parcel';

List feature collections

The path /collections returns a JSON document containing a list of the feature collections published by the service.



Each listed feature collection is described by a subset of its metadata, including name, title, description and extent. A list of links provide URLs for accessing:

  • self - the feature collection metadata
  • alternate - the feature collection metadata as an HTML view
  • items - the feature collection data items

Describe feature collection metadata

The path /collections/{coll-name} returns a JSON object describing the metadata for a feature collection. {coll-name} is the schema-qualified name of the database table or view backing the feature collection.



The response is a JSON document containing metadata about the collection, including:

  • The geometry column name
  • The geometry type
  • The geometry spatial reference code (SRID)
  • The extent of the feature collection (if available)
  • The column name providing the feature identifiers (if any)
  • A list of the properties and their JSON types

A list of links provide URLs for accessing:

  • self - the feature collection metadata
  • alternate - the feature collection metadata as an HTML view
  • items - the data items returned by querying the feature collection