We've been getting great feedback from our customers since our roll out of PostgreSQL deployments on Compose. One of the first and repeated requests we have received during was for PostGIS support and while others may make PostGIS an option, we've decided to make it standard on all Compose PostgreSQL deployments.
For those of you unfamiliar with PostGIS, it adds support for geographic objects to PostgreSQL, spatially enabling the database with a rich set of functions that make PostgreSQL geo-aware. It implements the OpenGIS specification for SQL feature access and is quite mature – it started development in 2001 and reached 1.0 in 2005. With this long history and solid support it's become the foundation for many GIS systems.
Location and geography have become essential data types in modern databases, especially with the rise of mobile, GPS and geolocation services. While you can get away with a very simple model of spatial relationships, like MongoDB's original GeoJSON support, for tasks like "Where is the nearest Taco bar?" or "Is Fred near me?"eventually you'll find you need more because your questions will become more complex. That in turn leads to having support more shapes and datatypes and more types of queries to go with those new shapes and types. The database challenge is to perform those queries efficiently by creating indexes which are fully aware of their content's semantics.
Geographic information systems are both fascinating and very complex, with various encoding schemes, projections and standards, to model the fascinating and complex world. PostGIS gives you the tools to handle that information as an integral component of your data model and there's no better reason to include a feature than it enabling our users to do more with their data.
If you want to try out Compose PostgreSQL with PostGIS – or any other Compose database – sign up for a free 30 day trial and see what you can do with it.