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PostGIS Cookbook by Bborie Park, Stephen Vincent Mather, Thomas J. Kraft, Paolo Corti

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Simplifying geometries

There will be many times when you will need to generate a less detailed and lighter version of a vector dataset, as you may not need too-detailed features for several reasons. Think about a case where you are going to publish the dataset to a website and performance is a concern, or maybe you need to deploy the dataset to a colleague who does not need too much detail because he or she is using it for a large-area map. In all of these cases, GIS tools provide you the implementation of simplification algorithms that reduce unwanted details from a given dataset. Basically, these algorithms reduce the vertex numbers comprised in a certain tolerance, which is expressed in units measuring distance.

For this purpose, PostGIS provides ...

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