I have a station_data table where sensors from different weather stations report their data.

Sample data:
1,1,1,1.234,2015-01-01 00:00
2,2,4,2.345,2015-01-02 00:00
3,1,8,3.456,2015-01-03 00:00
4,1,9,4.567,2015-01-04 00:00
5,3,3,5.678,2015-01-05 00:00
6,4,2,6.789,2015-01-06 00:00

I am trying to get to this result:

9000,1,1,1.234,2015-08-07 09:00
9001,1,2,2.345,2015-08-07 10:00
9002,1,3,3.456,2015-08-07 09:00
9003,1,4,4.567,2015-08-07 10:00
9004,1,5,5.678,2015-08-07 10:00
9005,1,6,6.789,2015-08-07 09:00
9998,10,1,1234.56,2015-08-07 09:00
9999,10,2,2345.67,2015-08-07 09:00

The result should contain every pair station_code / parameter code once and the corresponding latest update time.

At the moment I am running this query:

SELECT DISTINCT station_code,parameter_code 
FROM station_data 
ORDER BY station_code,parameter_code ASC;

which results to a list of the station and parameter codes being monitored and then I chain query the database (in a for loop) to select the latest update time from the above list.

SELECT * FROM station_data 
WHERE parameter_code=X AND station_code=X
ORDER BY date_time DESC LIMIT 1;

But this way of getting the data is nowhere next to optimum. Chain querying the database overloads the mysql server for a few minutes.

Is there any way to get the same result set by using a more efficient single query ?

2 Answers 2


The result should contain every pair station_code / parameter code once and the corresponding latest update time.

If you are really only interested in getting back those 3 values, then you only need a GROUP BY combined with a MAX aggregate:

SELECT station_code, parameter_code, MAX(date_time) AS latest_update_time
  FROM station_data
 GROUP BY station_code, parameter_code
  • This makes sense now, didn't think of the GROUP BY clause. Works like a charm, thank you. Aug 13, 2015 at 13:12

I think you may be looking for something like this:

SELECT s.id,s.station_code,s.parameter_code,s.value,s.date_time
  FROM station_data s
 WHERE s.date_time = (SELECT MAX(date_time) FROM station_data WHERE station_code = s.station_code AND paramter_code = s.parameter_code)

Add whichever parameters are important for uniqueness in your sub-query.

I would also recommend for this to run optimally, you create an index that indexes the three columns in that index, namely date_time,station_code and parameter_code)

  • This one generates the result but it is working forever (~15 minutes execution time) which is close to my non-optimal last update calculation. Aug 13, 2015 at 13:08

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