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The OKAPI Project

Quick download link: latest version

Why are you here?

If you are an external developer and you want to USE the API (not implement it), you should rather be reading this. The description below is primarily for OC administrators AND people who want to help implement OKAPI backend.

What is OKAPI?

OKAPI is a plugin for National Opencaching.XX sites.

  • It provides your site with a set of useful RESTful API methods,
  • Allows external developers to easily access public Opencaching data,
  • Allows access to private (user-related) data through OAuth 3-legged authorization.
  • Sends email notifications to site admins in case something goes wrong.

See a live installation here:

Who's using OKAPI?

OKAPI Project started in August 2011 and has become the standard API for national Opencaching sites. Currently it is being used by the following sites:

There is one site where OKAPI is not available yet:

The API itself is also being used by numerous geocaching clients (e.g. c:geo).

Who is developing OKAPI?

Like the rest of Opencaching, OKAPI is an open project. Every developer is welcome to submit their pull requests. If you are an application developer and you need a method which does not yet exist, maybe you'd care enough to write one? ;)

If you want to develop a new OKAPI method, you are welcome to start a new Issue for your work. Let others know what you're doing! Issue page is a great place for a discussion too.

Also, check our coding style guide.

Terms of data use

Current version of OKAPI comes with a document describing Terms of Use for Opencaching data (like this one). This document is about the OC data and IS NOT necessarily meant to stay the same across different OKAPI installations. Every OC installation may have its own version of this document. Contact us if you need one.

Can I change OKAPI locally?

Local, uncommited modifications are forbidden. You should commit all your modifications.

This doesn't mean that you cannot change anything - you are free to have parts of your own implementation of OKAPI interface or your own content of "terms and conditions" document. BUT, you have to commit all these changes to the official OKAPI repository (not YOUR repository). This means that, for example, OKAPI code SHOULD contain different versions of one SQL query IF tables in OC databases turn out to be incompatible. You have to think of all other installations when you commit anything. Once you commit to the master branch, new public package will be automatically generated for other OC servers to download.

In other words, if you want to change something, you have to do this in such way, that the same change will also work on all other OC sites:

  • Every OKAPI developer will TRY to develop new methods in such a way, that they will instantly work on all other OC sites.
  • If the developer cannot do such a thing, he will contact other developers to help him.
  • If the thing the developer is trying to achieve is impossible to achieve in other OC installations, then he MAY add a method/field which works only on his own installation, but he HAS TO include the public documentation for this method which will say "this method works only on some OC installations, if it doesn't work, it will return null" (or something similar).
  • We (the current developers) WILL also act according to these rules. Once you have OKAPI installed, we will make every effort for future versions of OKAPIs to be compatible with your site.

You should know that there are two primary branches of Opencaching - we call them OCPL and OCDE - and all OKAPI methods MUST support both these branches (unless the particular functionality is available on only one of them). You can read more about OCPL and OCDE branching here. You can also read about how OKAPI tries to deal with OC site and branch differences here.


  • PHP 5.6
  • A working Opencaching site.

Installation / Update Instructions

An OKAPI installation is bundled with both active Opencaching code distributions, namely the OCDE code branch (that you can obtain from the OCDE repository) and the OCPL code branch (available in the OCPL repository). The OCDE installation will fetch current OKAPI code via Composer, while it is directly included in the OCPL distribution.

After setting up the OC installation, take these steps to enable OKAPI:

  1. Verify the settings that are passed to OKAPI through the <rootpath>/okapi_settings.php file. They are configured in the file, which resides in the <rootpath>/lib directory for an OCPL installation, and in the <rootpath>/config2 directory for an OCDE installation.
  2. Make sure Apache allows OKAPI's .htaccess to override stuff. On some servers you don't need to do anything. On others, you need to add something like this to your Apache config:
<Directory /path/to/okapi>
  AllowOverride All
  php_admin_value safe_mode "off"
  1. Update OKAPI database (visit http(s)://yoursite/okapi/update),
  2. Check your email. OKAPI should send you email messages with further installation steps like installation the OKAPI cronjob.

Important: Some OC installations use automatic updates via a post-commit script. This means that every change commited to OKAPI will be immediatelly installed on production servers (after about 30 seconds of delay). If you'd like your installation to be updated in a similar manner, email us.

Additional development settings

If you want your IDE to properly match OKAPI's absolute paths used in OKAPI's require_once statements, then add your OC site's <rootpath> to your IDE's include path.

Reverting to a previous revision


  • You've updated your OKAPI installation (from revision X to Y).
  • OKAPI started sending you notification email about errors.

Possible reasons:

  • You forgot to run http(s)://yoursite/okapi/update script.
  • Missing a table/field in database (which wasn't required in X, but is required in Y).
  • Missing PHP module (which wasn't required in X, but is required in Y).
  • etc.

Quick fix:

  • Re-install the previous version of OKAPI (rev. X). Contact OKAPI developers for support.

Why a separate repository?

You may wonder why OKAPI is not distributed along the rest of the Opencaching website code. Currently there is no ONE repository for all Opencaching sites. Each Opencaching site is a bit different, though all share a similar database structure.

Unlike the Opencaching front-end pages, it is important for all OKAPI instances to stay the same. In order for the external developers to use these services, they must be compatible with one another.


A common API for all National Opencaching.XX sites



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