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GraphHopper - Quick Start Guide for Developers

Watch this video for a simple introduction.

Try out

For a start which requires only the JRE have a look here. Windows users will need Cygwin - find more details here.

To proceed install git and openjdk8 or openjdk11. Get the a jdk from your package manager, AdoptOpenJDK or Red Hat.

Then do:

git clone git://
cd graphhopper; git checkout 0.13
# fetches main.js, can be omitted if no UI is needed
cd web/src/main/resources/ && ZFILE=/tmp/gh.jar && wget -O $ZFILE "" && unzip $ZFILE assets/js/main.js && rm $ZFILE && cd ../../../..
./ -a web -i europe_germany_berlin.pbf
# now go to http://localhost:8989/ and you should see something similar to GraphHopper Maps:

In the last step the data is created to get routes within the Berlin area:

  1. The script downloads the OpenStreetMap data of that area
  2. It builds the graphhopper jar. If Maven is not available it will automatically download it.
  3. Then it creates routable files for graphhopper in the folder europe_germany_berlin-gh.
  4. It will create data for a special routing algorithm to dramatically improve query speed. It skips step 3. and 4. if these files are already present.
  5. It starts the web service to service the UI and also the many endpoints like /route

See also the instructions for Android

For you favourite area do e.g.:

$ ./ -a web -i europe_france.pbf -o france-gh
$ ./ -a web -i north-america_us_new-york.pbf -o new-york-gh
# the format follows the link structure at

For larger maps you need to allow the JVM to access more memory. For example for 2GB you can do this using:

$ export JAVA_OPTS="-Xmx2g -Xms2g"

before running

Start Development

First you need to run the commands given in section Try out, if you have not done so yet.

Then open the project in your IDE, first class IDEs are NetBeans and IntelliJ where no further setup is required.

Running & Debbuging with IntelliJ

intelliJ run config

Go to Run->Edit Configurations... and set the following to run GraphHopper from within IntelliJ:

Main class: com.graphhopper.http.GraphHopperApplication
VM options: -Xms1g -Xmx1g -server -Dgraphhopper.datareader.file=[your-area].osm.pbf -Dgraphhopper.graph.location=./[your-area].osm-gh
Program arguments: server config.yml


See this guide on how to contribute.

Java, Embedded Usage

Have a look into the Java API documentation for further details e.g. how GraphHopper can be embedded into your application and how you create a custom weighting.

Look here for the maven snippet to use GraphHopper in your application. To use an unreleased snapshot version of GraphHopper you need the following snippet in your pom.xml as those versions are not in maven central:



When developing the UI for GraphHopper you need to enable serving files directly from local disc via your config.yml:

    /maps: web/src/main/resources/assets/

To setup the JavaScript development environment install the node package manager:

wget -qO- | bash && \. $HOME/.nvm/ && nvm install
# create main.js via npm
cd web && npm install && npm run bundleProduction && cd ..

For windows use nvm-windows.

There are more npm commands to e.g. change the main.js on the fly or create an uglified main.js for production:

cd web

# For development just use watchify and all changes will be available on refresh:
npm run watch

# bundle creates the main file
npm run bundle

# create main.js for debugging
npm run bundleDebug

# create main.js for production and specify as CLI parameter `export NODE_ENV=development` which `options_*.js` file should be selected
npm run bundleProduction

# Forcing consistent code style with jshint:
npm run lint

# see the package.json where more scripts are defined


If you need offline routing in the browser like for smaller areas or hybrid routing solution then there is a highly experimental version of GraphHopper using TeaVM. Have a look into this blog post for a demo and more information.

Android Usage

For details on Android-usage have a look into this Android site

Swing and Desktop Usage

You can use Graphhopper on the Desktop with the help of mapsforge too. No example code is given yet but with the Android example combined with the Desktop example of the mapsforge project it should not be hard.

For smallish graph (e.g. size of Berlin) use a RAMDataAccess driven GraphStorage (loads all into memory). For larger ones use the ContractionHierarchies preparation class and MMapDataAccess to avoid OutOfMemoryErrors if you have only few RAM.

Raspberry Pi usage is also possible. Have a look into this blog post.

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