ST_Covers — Tests if every point of B lies in A


boolean ST_Covers ( geometry geomA , geometry geomB ) ;

boolean ST_Covers ( geography geogpolyA , geography geogpointB ) ;


Returns true if every point in Geometry/Geography B lies inside (i.e. intersects the interior or boundary of) Geometry/Geography A. Equivalently, tests that no point of B lies outside (in the exterior of) A.

In mathematical terms: ST_Covers(A, B) ⇔ A ⋂ B = B

ST_Covers is the converse of ST_CoveredBy . So, ST_Covers(A,B) = ST_CoveredBy(B,A) .

Generally this function should be used instead of ST_Contains , since it has a simpler definition which does not have the quirk that "geometries do not contain their boundary".


This function automatically includes a bounding box comparison that makes use of any spatial indexes that are available on the geometries.

To avoid index use, use the function _ST_Covers .


Enhanced: 3.0.0 enabled support for GEOMETRYCOLLECTION


Do not use this function with invalid geometries. You will get unexpected results.

Performed by the GEOS module

Enhanced: 2.4.0 Support for polygon in polygon and line in polygon added for geography type

Enhanced: 2.3.0 Enhancement to PIP short-circuit for geometry extended to support MultiPoints with few points. Prior versions only supported point in polygon.

Availability: 1.5 - support for geography was introduced.

Availability: 1.2.2

NOTE: this is the "allowable" version that returns a boolean, not an integer.

Not an OGC standard, but Oracle has it too.


Geometry example

  --a circle covering a circle
SELECT ST_Covers(smallc,smallc) As smallinsmall,
  ST_Covers(smallc, bigc) As smallcoversbig,
  ST_Covers(bigc, ST_ExteriorRing(bigc)) As bigcoversexterior,
  ST_Contains(bigc, ST_ExteriorRing(bigc)) As bigcontainsexterior
FROM (SELECT ST_Buffer(ST_GeomFromText('POINT(1 2)'), 10) As smallc,
  ST_Buffer(ST_GeomFromText('POINT(1 2)'), 20) As bigc) As foo;
 smallinsmall | smallcoversbig | bigcoversexterior | bigcontainsexterior
 t            | f              | t                 | f
(1 row) 

Geeography Example

-- a point with a 300 meter buffer compared to a point, a point and its 10 meter buffer
SELECT ST_Covers(geog_poly, geog_pt) As poly_covers_pt,
  ST_Covers(ST_Buffer(geog_pt,10), geog_pt) As buff_10m_covers_cent
  FROM (SELECT ST_Buffer(ST_GeogFromText('SRID=4326;POINT(-99.327 31.4821)'), 300) As geog_poly,
        ST_GeogFromText('SRID=4326;POINT(-99.33 31.483)') As geog_pt ) As foo;

 poly_covers_pt | buff_10m_covers_cent
 f              | t