What is PDX?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 | by

What is PDX and more precisely, where is PDX?  

In the most basic terms,

PDX == The airport code to the Portland, Oregon Airport

PDX == 45.5889, -122.5929

PDX == Portland, Oregon, USA (the City)

PDX == The catchment area of the PDX airport, which includes more than half of Oregon and some of Washington.

PDX == The domain name of Portland State University

Looking through the USGS Geographic Name Information System (GNIS), (import to PostGIS and run some queries) reveals that “Portland” is pervasive across the United States with an east and a west center.  “Portland” is not rare internationally either.

“PDX” on the other hand is rather unique.  You can visualize this in a workshop and demo from Boundless:


“PDX” is not just a location reference, it also references the ethos or the region.  As you hear more from PDX, you’ll start to sense this; after visiting, you’ll have experienced this and know it.  An example is that PDX likes a bird on everything, except the PDX airport.


Why PDX?  Well, honestly, there are “other Portlands” and we don’t want any attendees to go to the wrong one.  “PDX” will guide you to beautiful Portland, Oregon and FOSS4G 2014.


Some fine print: “PDX” is not actually in the GNIS and the Boundless demo actually uses data from geonames.org, not the GNIS.