Introduction to PostgreSQL box Data Type

box is a data type in PostgreSQL used to represent a rectangular region on a plane. This type is defined by two points, representing the coordinates of the bottom-left and top-right corners. In PostgreSQL, the box data type can be used to perform various spatial queries and calculations, such as checking if two rectangles overlap or calculating the intersection or union of rectangles.


In PostgreSQL, you can create a column of box data type using the following syntax:

column_name box

Use Cases

The box data type is widely used in PostgreSQL for spatial computations and queries, particularly in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other spatial applications. For example, in a table that stores information about city streets, you can use the box type to represent the bounding box of a street, allowing you to query for streets within a specified area.


Here are two examples of using the box data type:

  1. In a table named streets that contains information about city streets, there are two columns of box data type: bounds and center. The bounds column represents the bounding box of the street, and the center column represents the center coordinate of the street.

    CREATE TABLE streets (
        id serial primary key,
        name varchar(50),
        bounds box,
        center point
    INSERT INTO streets (name, bounds, center)
    VALUES ('Main Street', '(1,1),(4,4)', '(2.5,2.5)');
  2. By querying the streets table, you can find street information that contains a specified coordinate point. The following query will return all streets that contain the coordinate point (3, 3).

    SELECT * FROM streets
    WHERE bounds @> '(3,3)';


    id |    name     |   bounds    |   center
     1 | Main Street | (1,1),(4,4) | (2.5,2.5)
    (1 row)


The box data type is a very useful type in PostgreSQL for handling various spatial computations and queries. Using the box data type can help developers more easily handle spatial data when developing GIS and other spatial applications.