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All Blog Articles, Data Models and Free Source Code by Simon Greener, The SpatialDB Advisor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

DMS2DD for PostGIS

Wednesday February 18 2009 at 22:27

Yesterday, I posted a short article on Converting Google Earth Formatted Longitude/Latitude points to decimal degrees. The Google Earth longitude/latitude values are expressed as a string containing degree, minute and seconds values with text separators as follows:

Latitude Longitude
43° 0’50.60“S 147°12’18.20“E


The function described was written in PL/SQL for Oracle.

Regina Obe emailed me today as she had read the article and had converted it to PostGIS (supplying me a copy).

You will notice, in the code that follows, that PL/SQL and PL/PgSQL are very similar, making conversion much easier than you might expect.

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION DMS2DD(strDegMinSec varchar)
    RETURNS numeric
    AS
    $$
    DECLARE
       i               numeric;
       intDmsLen       numeric;          -- Length of original string
       strCompassPoint Char(1);
       strNorm         varchar(16) = ''; -- Will contain normalized string
       strDegMinSecB   varchar(100);
       blnGotSeparator integer;          -- Keeps track of separator sequences
       arrDegMinSec    varchar[];        -- TYPE stringarray is table of varchar(2048) ;
       dDeg            numeric := 0;
       dMin            numeric := 0;
       dSec            numeric := 0;
       strChr          Char(1);
    BEGIN
       -- Remove leading and trailing spaces
       strDegMinSecB := REPLACE(strDegMinSec,' ','');
       -- assume no leading and trailing spaces?
       intDmsLen := Length(strDegMinSecB);

       blnGotSeparator := 0; -- Not in separator sequence right now

       -- Loop over string, replacing anything that is not a digit or a
       -- decimal separator with
       -- a single blank
       FOR i in 1..intDmsLen LOOP
          -- Get current character
          strChr := SubStr(strDegMinSecB, i, 1);
          -- either add character to normalized string or replace
          -- separator sequence with single blank         
          If strpos('0123456789,.', strChr) > 0 Then
             -- add character but replace comma with point
             If (strChr <> ',') Then
                strNorm := strNorm || strChr;
             Else
                strNorm := strNorm || '.';
             End If;
             blnGotSeparator := 0;
          ElsIf strpos('neswNESW',strChr) > 0 Then -- Extract Compass Point if present
            strCompassPoint := strChr;
          Else
             -- ensure only one separator is replaced with a blank -
             -- suppress the rest
             If blnGotSeparator = 0 Then
                strNorm := strNorm || ' ';
                blnGotSeparator := 0;
             End If;
          End If;
       End Loop;

       -- Split normalized string into array of max 3 components
       arrDegMinSec := string_to_array(strNorm, ' ');

       --convert specified components to double
       i := array_upper(arrDegMinSec,1);
       If i >= 1 Then
          dDeg := CAST(arrDegMinSec[1] AS numeric);
       End If;
       If i >= 2 Then
          dMin := CAST(arrDegMinSec[2] AS numeric);
       End If;
       If i >= 3 Then
          dSec := CAST(arrDegMinSec[3] AS numeric);
       End If;

       -- convert components to value
       return (CASE WHEN UPPER(strCompassPoint) IN ('S','W') 
                    THEN -1 
                    ELSE 1 
                END 
               *
               (dDeg + dMin / 60 + dSec / 3600));
    End 
$$
    LANGUAGE 'plpgsql' IMMUTABLE;

SELECT round(dms2dd('43° 0''50.60"S'),9) as latitude,
       round(dms2dd('147°12''18.20"E'),9) as longitude;

latitude longitude
-43.014055556 147.205055556



Thanks Regina.

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