ST_Difference — Computes a geometry representing the part of geometry A that does not intersect geometry B.


geometry ST_Difference(geometry geomA, geometry geomB, float8 gridSize = -1);


Returns a geometry representing the part of geometry A that does not intersect geometry B. This is equivalent to A - ST_Intersection(A,B). If A is completely contained in B then an empty atomic geometry of appropriate type is returned.


This is the only overlay function where input order matters. ST_Difference(A, B) always returns a portion of A.

If the optional gridSize argument is provided, the inputs are snapped to a grid of the given size, and the result vertices are computed on that same grid. (Requires GEOS-3.9.0 or higher)

Performed by the GEOS module

Enhanced: 3.1.0 accept a gridSize parameter.

Requires GEOS >= 3.9.0 to use the gridSize parameter.

This method implements the OGC Simple Features Implementation Specification for SQL 1.1.


This method implements the SQL/MM specification.

SQL-MM 3: 5.1.20

This function supports 3d and will not drop the z-index.

However, the result is computed using XY only. The result Z values are copied, averaged or interpolated.


The input linestrings

The difference of the two linestrings

The difference of 2D linestrings.

            'LINESTRING(50 100, 50 200)'::geometry,
            'LINESTRING(50 50, 50 150)'::geometry

LINESTRING(50 150,50 200)

The difference of 3D points.

SELECT ST_AsEWKT( ST_Difference(
                   'MULTIPOINT(-118.58 38.38 5,-118.60 38.329 6,-118.614 38.281 7)' :: geometry,
                   'POINT(-118.614 38.281 5)' :: geometry
                  ) );

MULTIPOINT(-118.6 38.329 6,-118.58 38.38 5)

See Also

ST_SymDifference, ST_Intersection, ST_Union