Name

ST_Union — Returns a geometry that represents the point set union of the Geometries.

Synopsis

geometry ST_Union(geometry set g1field);

geometry ST_Union(geometry g1, geometry g2);

geometry ST_Union(geometry[] g1_array);

Description

Output type can be a MULTI*, single geometry, or Geometry Collection. Comes in 2 variants. Variant 1 unions 2 geometries resulting in a new geometry with no intersecting regions. Variant 2 is an aggregate function that takes a set of geometries and unions them into a single ST_Geometry resulting in no intersecting regions.

Aggregate version: This function returns a MULTI geometry or NON-MULTI geometry from a set of geometries. The ST_Union() function is an "aggregate" function in the terminology of PostgreSQL. That means that it operates on rows of data, in the same way the SUM() and AVG() functions do and like most aggregates, it also ignores NULL geometries.

Non-Aggregate version: This function returns a geometry being a union of two input geometries. Output type can be a MULTI*, NON-MULTI or GEOMETRYCOLLECTION. If any are NULL, then NULL is returned.

[Note]

ST_Collect and ST_Union are often interchangeable. ST_Union is in general orders of magnitude slower than ST_Collect because it tries to dissolve boundaries and reorder geometries to ensure that a constructed Multi* doesn't have intersecting regions.

ST_Union will use the faster Cascaded Union algorithm described in http://blog.cleverelephant.ca/2009/01/must-faster-unions-in-postgis-14.html

Performed by the GEOS module.

NOTE: this function was formerly called GeomUnion(), which was renamed from "Union" because UNION is an SQL reserved word.

Availability: 1.4.0 - ST_Union was enhanced. ST_Union(geomarray) was introduced and also faster aggregate collection in PostgreSQL.

Changed: 3.0.0 does not depend on SFCGAL.

This method implements the OpenGIS Simple Features Implementation Specification for SQL 1.1. s2.1.1.3

[Note]

Aggregate version is not explicitly defined in OGC SPEC.

This method implements the SQL/MM specification. SQL-MM 3: 5.1.19 the z-index (elevation) when polygons are involved.

Examples

Aggregate example

SELECT stusps,
       ST_Union(f.geom) as singlegeom
FROM sometable f
GROUP BY stusps
              

Non-Aggregate example

select ST_AsText(ST_Union('POINT(1 2)' :: geometry, 'POINT(-2 3)' :: geometry))

st_astext
----------
MULTIPOINT(-2 3,1 2)

select ST_AsText(ST_Union('POINT(1 2)' :: geometry, 'POINT(1 2)' :: geometry))

st_astext
----------
POINT(1 2)

3D example - sort of supports 3D (and with mixed dimensions!)

select ST_AsEWKT(ST_Union(geom))
from (
         select 'POLYGON((-7 4.2,-7.1 4.2,-7.1 4.3, -7 4.2))'::geometry geom
         union all
         select 'POINT(5 5 5)'::geometry geom
         union all
         select 'POINT(-2 3 1)'::geometry geom
         union all
         select 'LINESTRING(5 5 5, 10 10 10)'::geometry geom
     ) as foo;

st_asewkt
---------
GEOMETRYCOLLECTION(POINT(-2 3 1),LINESTRING(5 5 5,10 10 10),POLYGON((-7 4.2 5,-7.1 4.2 5,-7.1 4.3 5,-7 4.2 5)));

3d example not mixing dimensions

select ST_AsEWKT(ST_Union(geom))
from (
         select 'POLYGON((-7 4.2 2,-7.1 4.2 3,-7.1 4.3 2, -7 4.2 2))'::geometry geom
         union all
         select 'POINT(5 5 5)'::geometry geom
         union all
         select 'POINT(-2 3 1)'::geometry geom
         union all
         select 'LINESTRING(5 5 5, 10 10 10)'::geometry geom
     ) as foo;

st_asewkt
---------
GEOMETRYCOLLECTION(POINT(-2 3 1),LINESTRING(5 5 5,10 10 10),POLYGON((-7 4.2 2,-7.1 4.2 3,-7.1 4.3 2,-7 4.2 2)))

--Examples using new Array construct
SELECT ST_Union(ARRAY(SELECT the_geom FROM sometable));

SELECT ST_AsText(ST_Union(ARRAY[ST_GeomFromText('LINESTRING(1 2, 3 4)'),
            ST_GeomFromText('LINESTRING(3 4, 4 5)')])) As wktunion;

--wktunion---
MULTILINESTRING((3 4,4 5),(1 2,3 4))

              

See Also

ST_Collect, ST_UnaryUnion, ST_Intersection, ST_Difference ST_SymDifference