ECQL Reference

This section provides a reference for the syntax of the ECQL language. The full language grammar is documented in the the GeoTools ECQL BNF definition

Syntax Notes

The sections below describe the major language constructs. Each construct lists all syntax options for it. Each option is defined as a sequence of other constructs, or recursively in terms of itself.

  • Symbols which are part of the ECQL language are shown in code font. All other symbols are part of the grammar description.
  • ECQL keywords are not case-sensitive.
  • A vertical bar symbol ‘|‘ indicates that a choice of keyword can be made.
  • Brackets ‘[ ... ]‘ delimit syntax that is optional.
  • Braces ‘{ ... }‘ delimit syntax that may be present zero or more times.

Condition

A filter condition is a single predicate, or a logical combination of other conditions.

Syntax Description
Predicate Single predicate expression
Condition AND | OR Condition Conjunction or disjunction of conditions
NOT Condition Negation of a condition
( | [ Condition ] | ) Bracketing with ( or [ controls evaluation order

Predicate

Predicates are boolean-valued expressions which specify relationships between values.

Syntax Description
Expression = | <> | < | <= | > | >= Expression Comparison operations
Expression [ NOT ] BETWEEN Expression AND Expression Tests whether a value lies in or outside a range (inclusive)
Expression [ NOT ] LIKE | ILIKE like-pattern Simple pattern matching. like-pattern uses the % character as a wild-card for any number of characters. ILIKE does case-insensitive matching.
Expression [ NOT ] IN ( Expression { ,Expression } ) Tests whether an expression value is (not) in a set of values
Expression IN ( Literal { ,Literal } ) Tests whether a feature ID value is in a given set. ID values are integers or string literals
Expression IS [ NOT ] NULL Tests whether a value is (non-)null
Attribute EXISTS | DOES-NOT-EXIST Tests whether a featuretype does (not) have a given attribute
INCLUDE | EXCLUDE Always include (exclude) features to which this filter is applied

Temporal Predicate

Temporal predicates specify the relationship of a time-valued expression to a time or time period.

Syntax Description
Expression BEFORE Time Tests whether a time value is before a point in time
Expression BEFORE OR DURING Time Period Tests whether a time value is before or during a time period
Expression DURING Time Period Tests whether a time value is during a time period
Expression DURING OR AFTER Time Period Tests whether a time value is during or after a time period
Expression AFTER Time Tests whether a time value is after a point in time

Spatial Predicate

Spatial predicates specify the relationship between geometric values. Topological spatial predicates (INTERSECTS, DISJOINT, CONTAINS, WITHIN, TOUCHES CROSSES, OVERLAPS and RELATE) are defined in terms of the DE-9IM model described in the OGC Simple Features for SQL specification.

Syntax Description
INTERSECTS(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether two geometries intersect. The converse of DISJOINT
DISJOINT(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether two geometries are disjoint. The converse of INTERSECTS
CONTAINS(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether the first geometry topologically contains the second. The converse of WITHIN
WITHIN(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether the first geometry is topologically within the second. The converse of CONTAINS
TOUCHES(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether two geometries touch. Geometries touch if they have at least one point in common, but their interiors do not intersect.
CROSSES(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether two geometries cross. Geometries cross if they have some but not all interior points in common
OVERLAPS(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether two geometries overlap. Geometries overlap if they have the same dimension, have at least one point each not shared by the other, and the intersection of the interiors of the two geometries has the same dimension as the geometries themselves
EQUALS(Expression , Expression ) Tests whether two geometries are topologically equal
RELATE( Expression , Expression , pattern ) Tests whether geometries have the spatial relationship specified by a DE-9IM matrix pattern. A DE-9IM pattern is a string of length 9 specified using the characters *TF012. Example: '1*T***T**'
DWITHIN( Expression , Expression , distance , units ) Tests whether the distance between two geometries is no more than the specified distance. distance is an unsigned numeric value for the distance tolerance. units is one of feet, meters, statute miles, nautical miles, kilometers
BEYOND( Expression , Expression , distance , units ) Similar to DWITHIN, but tests whether the distance between two geometries is greater than the given distance.
BBOX ( Expression , Number , Number , Number , Number [ , CRS ] ) Tests whether a geometry intersects a bounding box specified by its minimum and maximum X and Y values. The optional CRS is a string containing an SRS code (For example, 'EPSG:1234'. The default is to use the CRS of the queried layer)

Expression

An expression specifies a attribute, literal, or computed value. The type of the value is determined by the nature of the expression. The standard PEMDAS order of evaluation is used.

Syntax Description
Attribute Name of a feature attribute
Literal Literal value
Expression + | - | * | / Expression Arithmetic operations
function ( [ Expression { , Expression } ] ) Value computed by evaluation of a filter function with zero or more arguments.
( | [ Expression ] | ) Bracketing with ( or [ controls evaluation order

Attribute

An attribute name denotes the value of a feature attribute.

  • Simple attribute names are sequences of letters and numbers,
  • Attribute names quoted with double-quotes may be any sequence of characters.

Literal

Literals specify constant values of various types.

Type Description
Number Integer or floating-point number. Scientific notation is supported.
Boolean TRUE or FALSE
String String literal delimited by single quotes. To include a single quote in the string use two single-quotes: ''
Geometry Geometry in WKT format. WKT is defined in the OGC Simple Features for SQL specification. All standard geometry types are supported: POINT, LINESTRING, POLYGON, MULTIPOINT, MULTILINESTRING, MULTIPOLYGON, GEOMETRYCOLLECTION. A custom type of Envelope is also supported with syntax ENVELOPE ( x1 x2 y1 y2 ).
Time A UTC date/time value in the format yyyy-mm-hhThh:mm:ss. The seconds value may have a decimal fraction. The time zone may be specified as Z or +/-hh:mm. Example: 2006-11-30T00:30:00Z
Duration A time duration specified as P [ y Y m M d D ] T [ h H m M s S ]. The duration can be specified to any desired precision by including only the required year, month, day, hour, minute and second components. Examples: P1Y2M, P4Y2M20D, P4Y2M1DT20H3M36S

Time Period

Specifies a period of time, in several different formats.

Syntax Description
Time / Time Period specified by a start and end time
Duration / Time Period specified by a duration before a given time
Time / Duration Period specified by a duration after a given time