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An open source geospatial trajectory data management & analysis platform

MobilityDB Logo

MobilityDB is a database management system for moving object geospatial trajectories, such as GPS traces. It adds support for temporal and spatio-temporal objects to the PostgreSQL database and its spatial extension PostGIS.

MobilityDB is developed by the Computer & Decision Engineering Department of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) under the direction of Prof. Esteban Zimányi. ULB is an OGC Associate Member and member of the OGC Moving Feature Standard Working Group (MF-SWG).

OGC Associate Member Logo

The MobilityDB project is managed by a steering committee.

More information about MobilityDB, including publications, presentations, etc., can be found in the MobilityDB website.


Experimental Projects

These projects push the boundaries of MobilityDB and connect it with the PostgreSQL/PostGIS ecosystem.

Mailing Lists

There are two mailing lists for MobilityDB hosted on OSGeo mailing list server:

For general questions and topics about how to use MobilityDB, please write to the user mailing list.


  • The master branch has the latest release
  • The develop branch has the development of the next release. The complete list of releases is available here


The extension is under development. We are planning to release the first version in 2021.


  • Linux (other UNIX-like systems may work, but remain untested)
  • PostgreSQL >= 11
  • CMake >= 3.7
  • PostGIS >= 2.5
  • JSON-C
  • GNU Scientific Library (GSL)
  • Development files for PostgreSQL, PostGIS/liblwgeom, PROJ, JSON-C

For example, you can build the following command to install all MobilityDB build dependencies for Debian-based systems using PostgreSQL 13 and PostGIS 3:

apt install build-essential cmake postgresql-server-dev-13 libproj-dev libjson-c-dev

Notice that if you want to use PostGIS 2.5, this requires in addition to add the dependency liblwgeom-dev to the above command.

Building & Installation

Here is the gist:

git clone
mkdir MobilityDB/build
cd MobilityDB/build
cmake ..
sudo make install

The above commands install the master branch. If you want to install another branch, for example, develop, you can replace the first command above as follows

git clone --branch develop

You should also set the following in postgresql.conf depending on the version of PostGIS you have installed (below we use PostGIS 3):

shared_preload_libraries = 'postgis-3'
max_locks_per_transaction = 128

You can replace postgis-2.5 above if you want to use PostGIS 2.5.

If you do not preload the PostGIS library you will not be able to load the MobilityDB library and will get an error message such as the following one

ERROR:  could not load library "/usr/local/pgsql/lib/": undefined symbol: ST_Distance

Notice that you can find the location of the postgresql.conf file as given next:

$ which postgres
$ ls /usr/local/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf

As can be seen, the PostgreSQL binaries are in the bin subdirectory while the postgresql.conf file is in the data subdirectory.

Once MobilityDB is installed, it needs to be enabled in each database you want to use it in. In the example below we use a database named mobility.

createdb mobility
psql mobility -c "CREATE EXTENSION PostGIS"
psql mobility -c "CREATE EXTENSION MobilityDB"

Docker Container

Docker containers with MobilityDB and all its dependencies are available here. These images are based on the official Postgres and Postgis docker images, please refer to them for more information.

If you have docker installed in your system you can run:

docker pull mobilitydb/mobilitydb
docker volume create mobilitydb_data
docker run --name "mobilitydb" -d -p 25432:5432 -v mobilitydb_data:/var/lib/postgresql mobilitydb/mobilitydb
psql -h localhost -p 25432 -d mobilitydb -U docker

The first command is to download the latest most up-to-date image of MobilityDB. The second command creates a volume container on the host, that we will use to persist the PostgreSQL database files outside of the MobilityDB container. The third command executes this binary image of PostgreSQL, PostGIS, and MobilityDB with the TCP port 5432 in the container mapped to port 25432 on the Docker host (user = pw = docker, db = mobilitydb). The fourth command is to connect to the database using psql.


Please report any issues you may have.


User's Manual

You can generate the user's manual in HTML, PDF, and EPUB formats. The manual is generated in English and in other available languages (currently only Spanish). For this, it is necessary to specify appropriate options in the cmake command as follows:

  • DOC_ALL: Generate in HTML, PDF, and EPUB formats
  • DOC_HTML: Generate in HTML format
  • DOC_PDF: Generate in PDF format
  • DOC_EPUB: Generate in EPUB format
  • LANG_ALL: Generate in all available languages
  • ES: Generate the Spanish documentation

For example, the following command generates the documentation in all formats and in all languages.

cmake -D DOC_ALL=true -D LANG_ALL=true ..
make doc

As another example, the following command generates the English documentation in PDF.

cmake -D DOC_PDF=true ..
make doc

The resulting documentation will be generated in the doc directory of the build directory.

In addition, pregenerated versions of them are available.

The documentation is also avaible in Spanish.

Developer's Documentation

You can generate the English developer's documentation in HTML format. For this, it is necessary to the option DOC_DEV in the cmake command as follows:

cmake -D DOC_DEV=true ..
make doc_dev

The resulting HTML documentation will be generated in the doxygen directory of the build directory.

In addition, a pregenerated version of the documentation is available.