Thursday, August 09, 2012

Building PostGIS on Ubuntu from source

I wanted to revisit PostGIS for an update on a project.  In the current version, we built a data table of distances, but I really want to be able to build this table based on a road network, i.e. if I have a road shapefile, pick two nodes and calculate the distance.  And sending many thousands of requests of this type over the internet to build the distance matrix is not very practical, especially if there are multiple road networks that need to be considered as well.

There are pre-built installers for Postgresql for all the major operating systems (Windows, OS X, Linux), but they seem to be version dependent.  i.e. it matters what version of the operating system you have, because the pre-built versions make assumptions about shared libraries and such (I think that is what is happening).  Plain Postgresql does not seem to be that much of a problem, but when adding in extensions (like PostGIS) it is.  So instead of fighting it, I decided to build the PostGIS stack on Linux.

Some issues along the way.

1.  Using ./configure -> make -> make install seemed to work smoothly (Postgresql 9.1, PostGIS 2.0.  note that I already have GEOS and PROJ libraries on my system)  But I needed to take a careful look at the config.log, because then I would have noticed that it could not find GTK+, dblatex and CUnit.

2.  To build the graphical shp2pgsql-gui plugin for Postgresql pgAdminIII, configure requires a --with-gui option.

3.  For GTK+, I had this on my system, but it was GTK3, and the pgAdmin actually requires GTK 2 development libraries.

4.  For CUnit, it requires the CUnit development libraries.

5.  After it is installed, shp2pgsql-gui is in the /usr/lib/postgresql/9.1/bin/ directory, not /usr/sbin as some places suggest.  So I needed to make a symbolic link using
   sudo ln -s /usr/lib/postgresql/9.1/bin/shp2pgsql-gui /usr/bin/shp2pgsql-gui

6.  Then I needed to add appropriate entries to the plugins.ini file, which is actually in /usr/share/pgadmin3/plugins.d directory

I took the entry found at GIS Stackoverflow
http://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/16181/how-can-i-enable-shapefile-gui-loader-in-pgadmin3

Now after this, it builds, all tests pass and the PostGIS graphical loader is working.
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