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Measures REST

The framework Measures REST provides a REST server for measures. In the context of this software, a measure is regarded as being a distribution of values on Earth, aggregated by some Discrete Global Grid System (DGGS). Measures refer to properties of the data, or to how a dataset has been created. Typical examples of measures are data quality measures or measures of the fitness for purpose.


The framework provided by this repository is a framework only: if measures are provided, the resulting data can be cached and then be accessed by a REST interface. The measures themselves rely on external data sources, which are independent of this framework. Measures have, accordingly, to be written on an individual basis, referring to external data sources. Whenever someone requests a measure via the REST interface, the REST server evaluates the corresponding measure and caches the data.


Scientific Publications

The following publication is related to this framework and the used DGGS:

Related Software

Several extensions will be published, which allow to implement measures for specific data sources. They will be announced soon.

There exist different extensions that aid in implementing a measure for specific data sources:

In addition, the REST interface is compatible with the JavaScript library geogrid.js, which visualizes measures as a layer to Leaflet. This framework makes extensive use of the library geogrid that computes and handles Discrete Global Grid Systems (DGGS).

Implementing a Measure

Measures always extend the class Measure<R>, where R is a generic parameter that refers to the result of the measure. As an example, a measure returning a Double value always extends Measure<Double>. A typical implementation of a measure looks like follows:

public class MeasureExample extends Measure<R> {
    protected SortedMap<GridCell, R> compute(BoundingBox bbox, ZonedDateTime date, ZonedDateTime dateFrom, Integer intervalInDays, RequestParameter p) throws Exception {
        // implement the measure here

Observe that the class name of the measure (MeasureExample) will automatically be used to identify the measure. Among others, the name is used to identify the particular measure in the REST interface. The name is automatically reformatted to example in our case. (The prefix Measure is removed and following words are converted from camel-case to kebab-case notation.) The above code needs usually just to be copied and can, apart from an adaption of the class name and the method compute, stay unmodified.

The method compute needs to be overwritten by an implementation of the actual measure. The bounding box for which data should be aggregated is provided as parameter bbox; the date to compute the measure for, as parameter date; and, in case that the measure refers to a time span, the start of the timespan, as parameter dateFrom. Furthermore, the computation can refer to additional parameters. The parameter "key" can be accessed by p.get("key").toString() in case of a string parameter, p.get("key").toInteger() in case of an integer parameter, and p.get("key").toDouble() in case of a double parameter. The default value of a parameter can be overwritten by p.setDefault("key", "default value").

The result is a SortedMap with GridCell as keys and R as values. Here, GridCell refers to the corresponding class of the library geogrid, which represents a grid cell. The aggregation has to be implemented manually though it can use the functions provided by geogrid. In particular, the GridCell for a tuple of coordinates can be computed as

this._grid.cellForLocation(lat, lon);

Running the REST Server

Initializing and running the server

The REST server can easily be instantiated as

RestServer restServer = new RestServer();

In this case, the server provides a REST interface on port 8080 for the URL http://localhost. In case another port or another URL should be used, corresponding parameters can be provided:

RestServer restServer = new RestServer(8080);
RestServer restServer = new RestServer("http://localhost:8080");

In addition, the cache strategy (see also below), can be provided, for example:

RestServer restServer = new RestServer("http://localhost:8080", new CacheMemory());

After having instantiated the server, the measures can be registered – this step needs to be repeated for every measure:

restServer.register(new MeasureExample());

Finally, the server can be started:;

Additional Settings

In case that a certain type of cell IDs shall be used, e.g., NON_ADAPTIVE IDs, the server can be informed to do so before it is run:


The default value is ADAPTIVE_1_PERCENT. For further information refer to geogrid.

Accessing a Measure Via the REST Interface

When having started the server, the registered measures can be accessed via the REST interface, which runs on http://localhost:8080 by default. A measure named measure-example can accordingly be evaluated by referring to http://localhost:8080/api/measure-example. As parameters, the resolution of the grid and the bounding box need to be provided. The complete URL is, for example, as follows:


Here, the bounding box is provided as minimum and maximum of the longitude and the latitude respectively (more information below in the description of the parameters). As a result, a JSON response is returned which consists of the identifiers (IDs) of the grid cells (see geogrid), as well as of the corresponding value of the measure:

        {"value":0.345, "id":"1309502766029885663"},
        {"value":0.784, "id":"1309502815023667023"},
        {"value":0.352, "id":"1309502838018652306"},
        {"value":null, "id":"1309502851015240491"},
        {"value":null, "id":"1309502862032073320"},
        {"value":0.546, "id":"1309502875029138747"},
        {"value":null, "id":"1309502880017193079"},



The following parameters are available:

Option Type Default Description
resolution Integer mandatory Resolution of the grid, which is to be used for aggregating the data resulting from the evaluation of the measure.
bbox Number, Number, Number, Number mandatory Bounding box, provided as minLon, minLat, maxLon, and maxLat (in this order).
latLng Boolean false Result contains the coordinates (latitude and longitude) explicitly if latLng is true.
date Date mandatory Date, or end of the time span, to evaluate the measure for.
dateFrom Date null Start of the time span to evaluate the measure for.
daysBefore Integer 3 * 365 Length of the time span (which ends at date) to evaluate the measure for.
intervalInDays Integer 30 Interval (in days) in which the time span shall be examined.
p * Encodes all other parameters.

Parameters days, dateFrom, and daysBefore

A measure can either refer to a certain point in time, represented by the parameter date, or to a time span represented by the parameters dateFrom/daysBefore and date. Whether a measure refers to a time span is determined by the function refersToTimeSpan. By default, a measure refers to only one point in time:

public Boolean refersToTimeSpan() {
    return false;

If the measure shall rather refer to a time span, it needs to be overridden:

public Boolean refersToTimeSpan() {
    return true;

The measure contains default values. If a parameter is missing in the URL, the default value is used instead. By default, the default parameters are set as follows:

public ZonedDateTime defaultDate() {
public ZonedDateTime defaultDateFrom() {
    return null;
public Integer defaultDaysBefore() {
    return 3 * 12 * 30;
public Integer defaultIntervalInDays() {
    return 30;

Accordingly, if the parameter date is omitted in the URL, it is defaulted to the start of the current month. If the measure refers to a time span but no parameter dateFrom or daysBefore is provided in the URL, the default values for dateFrom and daysBefore are evaluated (in this order). If defaultDateFrom returns null, the method defaultDaysBefore is evaluated. The default methods can be overriden in the implemention of a measure.

Both parameters dateFrom and date need to be provided as yyyy-MM-dd, as in the following examples:



Parameter latLng

If the file should in addition contain the coordinates, the parameter latLng needs to be set to true:


Accordingly, the result contains the corresponding coordinates of the centroid of the corresponding cell:

        {"value":0.345, "id":"1309502766029885663", "lat":9.502766309434305, "lon":29.8856629972524},
        {"value":0.784, "id":"1309502815023667023", "lat":9.502814964223331, "lon":23.667023156128714},
        {"value":0.352, "id":"1309502838018652306", "lat":9.502838251618373, "lon":18.652305606256853},
        {"value":null, "id":"1309502851015240491", "lat":9.502851238108507, "lon":15.240490824377252},
        {"value":null, "id":"1309502862032073320", "lat":9.502862302688978, "lon":32.073320392682334},
        {"value":0.546, "id":"1309502875029138747", "lat":9.502874619605427, "lon":29.138747369884587},
        {"value":null, "id":"1309502880017193079", "lat":9.502879767399307, "lon":17.19307948719968},


The computation of a measure for a given bounding box at a given resolution can be very time consuming. When results are needed within a fraction of a second, it might make sense to cache the results. There exist different strategies to cache the data, each of which has individual advantages and disadvantages:

  • CacheMemory. This approach caches the data in the memory.
  • more caching strategies are to be implemented

As a default, CacheMemory is being used. A particular instance of a caching strategy can be used as follows during the instantiation of the REST server:

RestServer restServer = new RestServer(new CacheMemory());
RestServer restServer = new RestServer(8080, new CacheMemory());
RestServer restServer = new RestServer("http://localhost:8080", new CacheMemory());


The REST interface of this framework is compatible with the JavaScript library geogrid.js, which visualizes measures as a layer to Leaflet:



This software is archived at HeiGIT gGmbH and not further meintained.

In 2017–2019, this software has been developed and maintained by Franz-Benjamin Mocnik,, GIScience Research Group, Institute of Geography, Heidelberg University. The development has been supported by the DFG project A framework for measuring the fitness for purpose of OpenStreetMap data based on intrinsic quality indicators (FA 1189/3-1).

(c) by Heidelberg University, 2017–2019.


The code is licensed under the MIT license.


A REST server to provide measures for geospatial datasets








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