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What does PostGIS offer the ArcGIS user?

Question asked by mbakerDPS on Apr 21, 2014
Latest reply on Apr 24, 2014 by mbakerDPS

After reading the exploits of the ESRI Portland team, and a few blog post comments stating "that there are people inside of Esri using, and trying to improve PostGIS", I have to wonder - what does PostGIS have to offer the ArcGIS user?

What is ESRI Portland using PostGIS for? A replacement to SQL Server, perhaps? Are they still using ArcSDE on top of PostGIS?

Our organization is tied to SQL Server, and we run ArcSDE on top of that. We also, however run a SQL-only database, with native geometry loaded via FME / Data Interop. Extension. Most of the student-level analysis we do is accomplished using SQL Spatial Functions (ST_Intersect, ST_Distance, ST_Buffer, etc.).

In our case, would PostGIS replace SQL Server? Would we still load ArcSDE on top of it and use PostGIS as only the 'geometry-enabling' back-end, using ArcMap/Catalog as the front-end?