The GeoJSON Format Specification

Authors Howard Butler (Hobu Inc.), Martin Daly (Cadcorp), Allan Doyle (MIT), Sean Gillies (UNC-Chapel Hill), Tim Schaub (OpenGeo), Christopher Schmidt (MetaCarta)
Revision 1.0
Date 16 June 2008
Abstract GeoJSON is a geospatial data interchange format based on JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).
Copyright Copyright © 2008 by the Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

1. Introduction

GeoJSON is a format for encoding a variety of geographic data structures. A GeoJSON object may represent a geometry, a feature, or a collection of features. GeoJSON supports the following geometry types: Point, LineString, Polygon, MultiPoint, MultiLineString, MultiPolygon, and GeometryCollection. Features in GeoJSON contain a geometry object and additional properties, and a feature collection represents a list of features.

A complete GeoJSON data structure is always an object (in JSON terms). In GeoJSON, an object consists of a collection of name/value pairs -- also called members. For each member, the name is always a string. Member values are either a string, number, object, array or one of the literals: true, false, and null. An array consists of elements where each element is a value as described above.

1.1. Examples

A GeoJSON feature collection:

  { "type": "FeatureCollection",
    "features": [
      { "type": "Feature",
        "geometry": {"type": "Point", "coordinates": [102.0, 0.5]},
        "properties": {"prop0": "value0"}
        },
      { "type": "Feature",
        "geometry": {
          "type": "LineString",
          "coordinates": [
            [102.0, 0.0], [103.0, 1.0], [104.0, 0.0], [105.0, 1.0]
            ]
          },
        "properties": {
          "prop0": "value0",
          "prop1": 0.0
          }
        },
      { "type": "Feature",
         "geometry": {
           "type": "Polygon",
           "coordinates": [
             [ [100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0],
               [100.0, 1.0], [100.0, 0.0] ]
             ]
         },
         "properties": {
           "prop0": "value0",
           "prop1": {"this": "that"}
           }
         }
       ]
     }

1.2. Definitions

2. GeoJSON Objects

GeoJSON always consists of a single object. This object (referred to as the GeoJSON object below) represents a geometry, feature, or collection of features.

2.1 Geometry Objects

A geometry is a GeoJSON object where the type member's value is one of the following strings: "Point", "MultiPoint", "LineString", "MultiLineString", "Polygon", "MultiPolygon", or "GeometryCollection".

A GeoJSON geometry object of any type other than "GeometryCollection" must have a member with the name "coordinates". The value of the coordinates member is always an array. The structure for the elements in this array is determined by the type of geometry.

2.1.1. Positions

A position is the fundamental geometry construct. The "coordinates" member of a geometry object is composed of one position (in the case of a Point geometry), an array of positions (LineString or MultiPoint geometries), an array of arrays of positions (Polygons, MultiLineStrings), or a multidimensional array of positions (MultiPolygon).

A position is represented by an array of numbers. There must be at least two elements, and may be more. The order of elements must follow x, y, z order (easting, northing, altitude for coordinates in a projected coordinate reference system, or longitude, latitude, altitude for coordinates in a geographic coordinate reference system). Any number of additional elements are allowed -- interpretation and meaning of additional elements is beyond the scope of this specification.

Examples of positions and geometries are provided in Appendix A. Geometry Examples.

2.1.2. Point

For type "Point", the "coordinates" member must be a single position.

2.1.3. MultiPoint

For type "MultiPoint", the "coordinates" member must be an array of positions.

2.1.4. LineString

For type "LineString", the "coordinates" member must be an array of two or more positions.

A LinearRing is closed LineString with 4 or more positions. The first and last positions are equivalent (they represent equivalent points). Though a LinearRing is not explicitly represented as a GeoJSON geometry type, it is referred to in the Polygon geometry type definition.

2.1.5. MultiLineString

For type "MultiLineString", the "coordinates" member must be an array of LineString coordinate arrays.

2.1.6. Polygon

For type "Polygon", the "coordinates" member must be an array of LinearRing coordinate arrays. For Polygons with multiple rings, the first must be the exterior ring and any others must be interior rings or holes.

2.1.7. MultiPolygon

For type "MultiPolygon", the "coordinates" member must be an array of Polygon coordinate arrays.

2.1.8 Geometry Collection

A GeoJSON object with type "GeometryCollection" is a geometry object which represents a collection of geometry objects.

A geometry collection must have a member with the name "geometries". The value corresponding to "geometries"is an array. Each element in this array is a GeoJSON geometry object.

2.2. Feature Objects

A GeoJSON object with the type "Feature" is a feature object.

2.3. Feature Collection Objects

A GeoJSON object with the type "FeatureCollection" is a feature collection object.

An object of type "FeatureCollection" must have a member with the name "features". The value corresponding to "features" is an array. Each element in the array is a feature object as defined above.

3. Coordinate Reference System Objects

The coordinate reference system (CRS) of a GeoJSON object is determined by its "crs" member (referred to as the CRS object below). If an object has no crs member, then its parent or grandparent object's crs member may be acquired. If no crs member can be so acquired, the default CRS shall apply to the GeoJSON object.

3.1. Named CRS

A CRS object may indicate a coordinate reference system by name. In this case, the value of its "type" member must be the string "name". The value of its "properties" member must be an object containing a "name" member. The value of that "name" member must be a string identifying a coordinate reference system. OGC CRS URNs such as "urn:ogc:def:crs:OGC:1.3:CRS84" shall be preferred over legacy identifiers such as "EPSG:4326":

  "crs": {
    "type": "name",
    "properties": {
      "name": "urn:ogc:def:crs:OGC:1.3:CRS84"
      }
    }

3.2. Linked CRS

A CRS object may link to CRS parameters on the Web. In this case, the value of its "type" member must be the string "link", and the value of its "properties" member must be a Link object (see 3.2.1. Link Objects).

3.2.1. Link Objects

A link object has one required member: "href", and one optional member: "type".

The value of the required "href" member must be a dereferenceable URI.

The value of the optional "type" member must be a string that hints at the format used to represent CRS parameters at the provided URI. Suggested values are: "proj4", "ogcwkt", "esriwkt", but others can be used:

  "crs": {
    "type": "link", 
    "properties": {
      "href": "http://example.com/crs/42",
      "type": "proj4"
      }
    }

Relative links may be used to direct processors to CRS parameters in an auxiliary file:

  "crs": {
    "type": "link",
    "properties": {
      "href": "data.crs",
      "type": "ogcwkt"
      }
    }

4. Bounding Boxes

To include information on the coordinate range for geometries, features, or feature collections, a GeoJSON object may have a member named "bbox". The value of the bbox member must be a 2*n array where n is the number of dimensions represented in the contained geometries, with the lowest values for all axes followed by the highest values. The axes order of a bbox follows the axes order of geometries. In addition, the coordinate reference system for the bbox is assumed to match the coordinate reference system of the GeoJSON object of which it is a member.

Example of a bbox member on a feature:

  { "type": "Feature",
    "bbox": [-180.0, -90.0, 180.0, 90.0],
    "geometry": {
      "type": "Polygon",
      "coordinates": [[
        [-180.0, 10.0], [20.0, 90.0], [180.0, -5.0], [-30.0, -90.0]
        ]]
      }
    ...
    }

Example of a bbox member on a feature collection:

  { "type": "FeatureCollection",
    "bbox": [100.0, 0.0, 105.0, 1.0],
    "features": [
      ...
      ] 
    }

Appendix A. Geometry Examples

Each of the examples below represents a complete GeoJSON object. Note that unquoted whitespace is not significant in JSON. Whitespace is used in the examples to help illustrate the data structures, but is not required.

Point

Point coordinates are in x, y order (easting, northing for projected coordinates, longitude, latitude for geographic coordinates):

  { "type": "Point", "coordinates": [100.0, 0.0] }

LineString

Coordinates of LineString are an array of positions (see 2.1.1. Positions):

  { "type": "LineString",
    "coordinates": [ [100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0] ]
    }

Polygon

Coordinates of a Polygon are an array of LinearRing coordinate arrays. The first element in the array represents the exterior ring. Any subsequent elements represent interior rings (or holes).

No holes:

  { "type": "Polygon",
    "coordinates": [
      [ [100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0], [100.0, 1.0], [100.0, 0.0] ]
      ]
   }

With holes:

  { "type": "Polygon",
    "coordinates": [
      [ [100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0], [100.0, 1.0], [100.0, 0.0] ],
      [ [100.2, 0.2], [100.8, 0.2], [100.8, 0.8], [100.2, 0.8], [100.2, 0.2] ]
      ]
   }

MultiPoint

Coordinates of a MultiPoint are an array of positions:

  { "type": "MultiPoint",
    "coordinates": [ [100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0] ]
    }

MultiLineString

Coordinates of a MultiLineString are an array of LineString coordinate arrays:

  { "type": "MultiLineString",
    "coordinates": [
        [ [100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0] ],
        [ [102.0, 2.0], [103.0, 3.0] ]
      ]
    }

MultiPolygon

Coordinates of a MultiPolygon are an array of Polygon coordinate arrays:

  { "type": "MultiPolygon",
    "coordinates": [
      [[[102.0, 2.0], [103.0, 2.0], [103.0, 3.0], [102.0, 3.0], [102.0, 2.0]]],
      [[[100.0, 0.0], [101.0, 0.0], [101.0, 1.0], [100.0, 1.0], [100.0, 0.0]],
       [[100.2, 0.2], [100.8, 0.2], [100.8, 0.8], [100.2, 0.8], [100.2, 0.2]]]
      ]
    }

GeometryCollection

Each element in the geometries array of a GeometryCollection is one of the geometry objects described above:

  { "type": "GeometryCollection",
    "geometries": [
      { "type": "Point",
        "coordinates": [100.0, 0.0]
        },
      { "type": "LineString",
        "coordinates": [ [101.0, 0.0], [102.0, 1.0] ]
        }
    ]
  }

Appendix B. Contributors

The GeoJSON format specification is the product of discussion on the GeoJSON list: http://lists.geojson.org/listinfo.cgi/geojson-geojson.org