PostGIS Terminal

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Printscreen of PostGIS Terminal (Prototype).

The OSM SQL Terminal (formerly known as PostGIS Terminal) is an online browser shell to query a geospatial database called EOSMDBOne ("Extended OSM DB One") using spatial SQL. The result is visualized in raw graphics in a map window directly in the browser (map view). The background map and the geodata come from OpenStreetMap. The data is syncronized every night (area of Switzerland) from the OpenStreetMap database to EOSMDBOne.

See also PostGIS Terminal Examples, PostGIS.

 >> Ask Prof. Stefan Keller about access to it <<


The OSM SQL Terminal was developed based on the original idea and implementation of Marc Jansen and Till Adams. They are the authors of the german OpenLayers book (see [1] and [2]). The idea was also realized independently in

The terminal is mainly a rich client written in JavaScript with some server code currently in PHP. Specifically it runs on Apache (with PHP support), PostgreSQL/PostGIS (see EOSMDBOne) plus OpenLayers. There are no other SW dependencies.


Notes (in german): Das OSM SQL Terminal ist eine Art Webadmin-Tool zur Visualisierung von Spatial SQL Queries und kann für Ausbildungzwecke aber auch für GIS-Administratoren nützlich sein. Installieren siehe _README.txt. Es gibt ev. mal eine Homepage auf (analog ). Setzt Apache/PHP und PostgresSQL/PostGIS voraus. Passende Daten dazu stammen beispielsweise von OpenStreetMap ( ). Testen mit den Beispielen in _EXAMPLE_QUERIES.txt und nice-queries-for-postgis-console.sql. Könnte theoretisch auch weitere Geo-Datenbanksysteme unterstützen (müsste dann aber umbenannt werden).

How to use it

WKT ( ST_AsText(...) ) is being displayed in map window.

The result of a query (resultset)...

  • SELECT WKT... FROM ... => map
  • SELECT ST_AsText(...) AS geom FROM ... => map
  • SELECT ST_AsText(...) AS geom, name as label FROM ... => map with text label

else => output goes to log window.

Credits / License

Credits to...

  • Joël Schwab und Felix Reiniger, IFS OST
  • Marc Jansen/Till Adams (code, OpenLayers book)
  • and Hartmut Holzgräfe (code)
  • and the fabulous OpenStreetMappers (data).

Software is licensed under "New BSD License" (see ).

Terms of Use

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Tables and Attributes
You can find out more about the actual database by clicking on the '?' button right to 'Database'. To find out the attribute names, you can do a: "SELECT * from osm_point"
For a more information about the database see 'Enhanced OpenStreetMap Database One' (EOSMDBOne).
Key/Value Pairs
If you are searching for the right keys and values, try Taginfo (; e.g. search for key 'tourism', then click on the key again and you get the values, like 'zoo' (which makes "tourism = zoo"). See also 'Map Features' on OSM Wiki.

SQL Help

To be defined. The use of selectors which "generate" SQL into query input console is experimental from an eLearning view.

Help using OSM SQL Terminal

The terminal analyses your SQL query (from your input into the Query editor), beautifies it and looks for placeholders. Output (text or map) can be controlled with field names (or function names) if they exist in the SQL console input or in the query result.

Output can go to

  1. log window (called "text query") or to
  2. map window (called "map query").

"map queries" can be either be "geometry" (= point, linestring, polygon) or "marker" (= icon).

 | OSM SQL Terminal...      |
 | xxx     |                |
 |         |                |
 | Query:  |                |
 | ####### |   Map Window   |
 | ####### |                |
 |         |                |
 | Log:    |                |
 | ####### |----------------|
 | ####### |         Footer |
 Figure: GUI Layout of OSM SQL Terminal.

Reserved field and function names are:

  • "geom"  : field with WKT geometry.
  • "label  : field with text displayed as a label of the geometry.
  • mapextent(): bbox of current map view.

System variable placeholder:

  • _table: for current Table/name name.
  • _geom: for Geometry attribute name.
  • _string: for Search name.
  • _mouse_x/_mouse_y: for each mouse click in map window.

See PostGIS Terminal Examples.


This is the general syntax for an SQL query:

  SELECT geom, label
  FROM our_poi_table
  WHERE (our_poi_tags contain a tag with 'key=value')
  AND (our_poi_tags contain a tag with 'other_key=other_value')  

See also:

Example "Alle Zoos der Schweiz":

  SELECT ST_AsText(way) AS geom, name||' '||osm_id AS label
  FROM osm_all
  WHERE tags @> hstore('tourism','zoo')  

Shortcut using XAPI-to-Map:*%5Btourism=zoo%5D


NOTE: If the OSM SQL Terminal shows an error, try to Copy&Paste the examples below into the browser of your choice!

You can query the OSM SQL Terminal by using the XAPI syntax from OSM, like this:

  • Alle Zoos der Schweiz:*[tourism=zoo] [3]
  • Museum:*[tourism=museum] [4]
  • Castles (Burgen):*[historic=castle] [5]
  • Viewpoints (Aussichtspunkte) around Pfannenstiel:*[tourism=viewpoint][bbox=8.420,47.072,9.088,47.431]&zoom=11&lat=47.26079&lon=8.77597&layers=B0T [6]
  • Hedges (Hecken):[barrier=hedge] [7]
  • Marroni-Stände:[cuisine=roasted_chestnut] [8]
  • Behindertenparkplätze:*[amenity=parking][capacity:disabled=*][bbox=8.420,47.072,9.088,47.431]
  • Uebernachten:*[tourism=camp_site|hotel|hostel|guest house|chalet|motel|caravan_site]


Please use this contact form here.

Download and Installation

  • There's no download yet (pls. send request as e-mail).
  • Installation, readme and more are included in the delivery (zip file).