Spatial clustering with PostGIS
PostGIS is an extension for the PostgreSQL database that adds support for spatial data types, indexing, and functions for spatial queries.
Here are a few examples of how you can use PostGIS to perform spatial clustering:
DBSCAN (Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise) is an algorithm that clusters points based on density. Points in a high-density region are considered to be part of the same cluster, while points in a low-density region are considered to be noise (i.e., not part of any cluster).
ST_ClusterDBSCAN function in PostGIS takes two parameters:
eps is the maximum distance that points in a cluster can be from each other, and
minpoints is the minimum number of points required to form a cluster.
For example, in the following query:
SELECT ST_ClusterDBSCAN(geom, eps := 0.1, minpoints := 3) as cluster_id FROM points GROUP BY cluster_id;
points that are within 0.1 units of each other and that have at least 3 other points within 0.1 units of them will be considered part of the same cluster. Points that do not meet these criteria will be considered noise and will be assigned a
NULL value for
K-means clustering is an algorithm that divides a set of points into a specified number of clusters based on the mean distance of points from the centroid (mean) of each cluster.
ST_ClusterKMeans function in PostGIS takes a single parameter: the number of clusters to create. For example, in the following query:
SELECT ST_ClusterKMeans(geom, 2) as cluster_id FROM points GROUP BY cluster_id;
the points in the
points table will be divided into 2 clusters based on their distance from the centroids of each cluster.
A Voronoi diagram is a partitioning of a plane into regions based on distance to a set of points. Each region represents the area of the plane that is closest to a particular point.
ST_VoronoiDiagram function in PostGIS takes a single parameter: a set of points. For example, in the following query:
SELECT ST_VoronoiDiagram(geom) as geom FROM points;
ST_VoronoiDiagram function will create a polygon for each point in the input set, with the polygon representing the region of the plane that is closest to that point. The resulting diagram will consist of a set of disjoint polygons, with each polygon representing the region closest to a point.
For example, suppose we have the following set of points:
POINT(0 0) POINT(1 0) POINT(1 1)
The Voronoi diagram created from these points would look like this:
POLYGON((0 0, 0.5 0.5, 1 0, 0 0)) POLYGON((1 0, 0.5 0.5, 1 1, 1 0)) POLYGON((1 1, 0.5 0.5, 1 0, 1 1))
Each of these polygons represents the region of the plane that is closest to one of the input points.
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