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Location Building Blocks

Powering geo-enabled APIs

I need some specific bits of functionality to geo-enable my API.

I need a full-fledged API for accessing a specific kind of geospatial resource.

I want to create and publish reusable Building Blocks.

It's all about reusability.

Each OGC API standard is made of a set of requirements, or building blocks, which can be reused beyond their original context.

  • A building block could be a complete OGC API standard (e.g.: OGC API Features), one part of a multi-part standard (e.g.: part 1 - Core) or more granular functionality whithin the standard, such as data types or parameters (e.g.: bbox, crs).
  • One or more building blocks can be integrated into existing/novel web applications.
  • Each building block represents a testable interface component.

Whether you need a complete web API to access a geospatial resource or just some bits to geo-enable your web application, the OGC building blocks could be a solution to provide standard, testable, interfaces, some of which with a high level of maturity.

Let's not reinvent the wheel!

Granular Resources

Did you ever have the need to define a bounding box parameter in your application? It is easy: you can just create an array of coordinates. But should you use the coordinates of the lower left and upper right corner, or upper left and lower right corner? What about the order - should it be x,y or lat,long ? And what happens with the crs?

            // Here are a couple of variations for a bbox representation.

            // Lower left, Upper Right - x,y
            const bbox1=-[124.7844079,24.7433195,-66.9513812,49.3457868];
            // Upper left, Lower Right - x,y
            const bbox2=-[124.7844079,49.3457868,-66.9513812,24.7433195];
            // Lower left, Upper Right - y,x
            const bbox3=-[24.7433195,124.7844079,49.3457868,-66.9513812];


Every day, developers around the world solve this same problem, in a slightly different way. And yet this is exactly what we want to avoid with the location building blocks - people solving the same problems, again and again - even if they solve them well, which is not always the case. The granular building blocks are used by the OGC APIs to address the requirements of these APIs, which are common requirements of location APIs; for instance: the need of a bounding box parameter or an extent data type. Next time you need to address a geo requirement in your application, instead of spending time thinking about a solution, check-out the existing location building blocks.

Try it

Generate a bounding box building block, to use in your application.

Find it

Find all the granular resources extracted from OGC APIs, in the building blocks register.

Developer Documentation

Developer documents cover different aspects of designing, building and testing a BuildingBlock for reuse within your own application or publication to one or more Building Block registers.

Documentation can be found here. (This is a work in progress)


Each OGC API is a bundle of modules, combined to provide a convenience API for access to a specific resource type (e.g.: feature, coverage, tile).

For instance, OGC API - Features provides a web interface to access feature resources, using different parts:

  • Part 1: Core - allows for the provision of feature data in WGS84 CRS to any compliant client. The client can retrieve or display the feature data.
  • Part 2: CRS by reference - extends the Core with the ability to use CRS, other than the default one.

Each module provides testable conformance classes, which can be used for procurement. OGC conformant modules can be combined with other modules to add OGC capabilities to a Web API implementation.

Try the OGC API Configurator

Server-side implementations

Client-side implementations

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some frequently asked questions about OGC location blocks. If you think your question was not answered here, please drop as an email at .

Who is behind the location building blocks?

The building blocks are developed through a member-driven consensus process, which creates royalty free, publicly available, open geospatial standards. The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is the organization which drives this process. It is supported by an active community of members, with involvement from a large range of organizations, as well as smaller ones. Join OGC today!