Geoascent Academy

Making the most of PostGIS spatial databases for QGIS

Two day training course

Location:Old Fire Station, Salisbury, UK map

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This concise course is aimed at the GIS user who would like to build their knowledge and skills of working with spatial databases. The course uses PostgreSQL/ PostGIS spatial database although the theory is applicable to other compatible database systems including MS SQL Server and Oracle. There are both taught and practical elements during the two days with the opportunity to use the available opensource tools to carry out crafted exercises.

The two day course will have provided the delegate with the opportunity to learn and practice using PostGIS as a data repository for QGIS. The delegate will have understood the basics of PostgreSQL / PostGIS and have had practical experience in its use; including writing queries and building functions and triggers. They will have developed their skills to carry GIS tasks more efficiently while enhancing data management and data security.


Delegates should be IT literate and have some working knowledge in the use of GIS. Basic knowledge of Structured Query Language (SQL) would be an advantage, although not essential.

Delegates will need to bring a laptop with them to use for the training. This ideally will be a Windows laptop that will be able to run software from a USB drive. If there is any doubt we can provide the drive in advance for testing. There is no need to have the software installed in advance unless you are using Linux or Apple, then please could you have installed QGIS 2.18 and PostgreSQL 9.5 / PostGIS 2.0 or later. It is also possible to hire laptops please contact us at to arrange this.

Need more information?

Please don't hesitate to contact us with your questions at or see the contact us page.


1. Introduction to PostGIS

  • Setting up PostgreSQL / PostGIS
  • PostgreSQL architecture
  • Geographical elements

  • 2. Interacting with databases in QGIS

  • Loading tables as layers
  • Using plugins

  • 3. Basic SQL & how to use spatial functions

  • SQL the basics
  • Key spatial functions (including intersect, buffers and distance)

  • 4. Building a relational database and interface using QGIS forms.

  • Designing a relational database
  • Keys
  • QGIS forms

  • 5. Building simple triggers and functions

  • Overview of functions and triggers
  • Practical exercise to create a trigger function to semi-automate a GIS task.

  • 6. Managing your Spatial Data Warehouse

  • Schemas
  • Users and roles
  • Permissions
  • Metadata in QGIS
  • Database backups
  • Note that the course content is subject to change

    Your trainer

    Andrew Bell (MSc), the trainer has 14 years experience in the field of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) of which the last 10 years he has specialised in working with PostGIS databases and QGIS. In 2008, he first implemented PostgreSQL / PostGIS and QGIS as part of an open source infrastructure within a local government organisation. He has gone on to build a wealth a knowledge in working with spatial database systems as a regular trainer at Astun Technology and as an in house expert at Local Authorities and National Parks within the UK. He is familiar with administration and performance of PostgreSQL as well development of databases for enterprise use. Andrew has worked closely on GIS projects with environment experts, ecologists and archaeologist.

    His feedback from training has always been very good and we hope you have an enjoyable and worthwhile experience also.

    andrew bell trainer


    The course is to be held in the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury in Wiltshire. The city is full of character with the cathedral at the heart towering above with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants in the surrounding streets.

    The venue is the Old Fire Station Enterprise Centre on Salt Lane; right in the centre of the city.

    Old Fire Station Enterprise Centre, Salt Lane, Salisbury SP1 1DU. See map

    Salisbury image

    It’s closer than you think!

    Salisbury is well connected with trains direct from London Waterloo (1hr 20min), Bristol (1hr) and Southampton (30 min). Southampton airport is also 1 hour away on the train. Parking is best in the long stay car park (Mill Stream Approach, Salisbury SP1 3SL) which is a short walk from the venue.

    Where to stay

    There is a good range of accommodation in the heart of the city with hotels rooms from £65 per night and Airbnb from £30 a night.

    Evening social

    There will be a chance to meet up on the Wednesday evening in a near-by pub or restaurant for some more informal GIS chat.

    Book your place

    Other courses available

    Location: Salisbury, UK

    Prices for a 2 day course

  • Early bird ticket price is only £325 +VAT (available until midnight 28th December 2018)
  • Full ticket price £375 +VAT
  • The course fee includes all course material including a USB stick, refreshments and lunch each day.
  • Find out more

    Bookings can be made with a credit/debit card or by Purchase Order / bank transfer, please contact us at to arrange.

    This course is aimed a the novice GIS user who want to get started to view and print maps and draw their own map features. the course is in plain English with all the jargon explained to help you make you way around the mapping tools.

    Location: Salisbury, UK

  • Early bird ticket price is only £200 +VAT (available until midnight 10th Januray 2019)
  • Full ticket price £300 +VAT
  • Advanced purchase early bird vouchers are available and can be used on any course
  • See course outline & find out more

    Bookings can be made with a credit/debit card or by Purchase Order / bank transfer, please contact us at to arrange.

    Location: Salisbury, UK

  • PostGIS & SpatialLite databases
  • Check in / check out data process and mergers
  • QGIS Plugins
  • Going mobile with QGIS
  • Other mobile apps
  • Outdoor data capture exercise
  • Early bird ticket price is only £325 +VAT (available until midnight 17th January 2019)
  • Full ticket price £375 +VAT
  • Advanced purchase early bird vouchers are available and can be used on any course
  • Register your interest

    Drop us a message to let us know you are interested in this course

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