Saturday, November 19, 2011

Linestring/polygon intersection

Linestring/polygon intersection

After a long while a blog again, a short one this time. I'm currently implementing intersections linestring/polygon for Boost.Geometry. Well, the basics (calculating intersection points) are already there for a long time, but for this combination the intersection points should be followed in another way and the correct pieces should be outputted.

When I do these things I normally check the results with both PostGIS and SQL Server. However, I'm encountering something weird in both of them.

The testcase

My testcase is looking like this:

SQL Server

In SQL Server the intersection is correctly done, but the linestring is reversed! I'm using this query:
with viewy as
      geometry::STGeomFromText('POLYGON((1 1,1 3,3 3,3 1,1 1))', 0) as p,
      geometry::STGeomFromText('LINESTRING(2 2,1 2,1 3,2 3)', 0) as q
   p.STIntersection(q).STLength() as len,
   p.STIntersection(q).STAsText() as wkt
from viewy;

and this is my output:

3    LINESTRING (2 3, 1 3, 1 2, 2 2)

You see, the linestring is reversed! It is not only reversed with this linestring, but with all linestrings. Even if they are, for example, complete inside the polygon. If I reverse the polygon (from clockwise to counter clockwise), the output is still reversed. Mysterious...


Also a surprise in PostGIS.The query is looking there as following:

with viewy as
      ST_GeomFromText('POLYGON((1 1,1 3,3 3,3 1,1 1))') as p,
      ST_GeomFromText('LINESTRING(2 2,1 2,1 3,2 3)') as q
   ST_Length(ST_Intersection(p, q)) as len,
   ST_AsText(ST_Intersection(p, q)) as wkt
and this is here the result:

3;"MULTILINESTRING((1 2,1 3),(1 3,2 3),(2 2,1 2))"

I'm getting a multilinestring back! With respect to contents, it is OK. But it is surprising...


I did not look it up but I don't think this specific behaviour is specified. So yes, all implementations will be correct but...


At the moment of writing, technically more difficult cases as this is one are not completely finished. But I can already tell that the linestring will not be reversed and that the output will consist of only one linestring...

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