HTTP API for Pelias Geocoder
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This repository is part of the Pelias project. Pelias is an open-source, open-data geocoder originally sponsored by Mapzen. Our official user documentation is here.

Pelias API Server

This is the API server for the Pelias project. It's the service that runs to process user HTTP requests and return results as GeoJSON by querying Elasticsearch and the other Pelias services.




Full documentation for the Pelias API lives in the pelias/documentation repository.

Install Dependencies

Note: Pelias requires Node.js v6 or newer

npm install


The API ships with several convenience commands (runnable via npm):

  • npm start: start the server
  • npm test: run unit tests
  • npm run ciao: run functional tests (this requires that the server be running)
  • npm run docs: generate API documentation
  • npm run coverage: generate code coverage reports
  • npm run config: dump the configuration to the command line, which is useful for debugging configuration issues


The API recognizes the following properties under the top-level api key in your pelias.json config file:

parameter required default description
host yes specifies the url under which the http service is to run
indexName no pelias name of the Elasticsearch index to be used when building queries
relativeScores no true if set to true, confidence scores will be normalized, realistically at this point setting this to false is not tested or desirable
accessLog no name of the format to use for access logs; may be any one of the predefined values in the morgan package. Defaults to "common"; if set to false, or an otherwise falsy value, disables access-logging entirely.
services no service definitions for point-in-polygon, libpostal, placeholder, and interpolation services. If missing (which is not recommended), the services will not be called.
no default coordinates for focus point
no custom values for which sources and layers the API accepts (more info).
attributionURL no (autodetedted) The full URL to use for the attribution link returned in all Pelias responses. Pelias will attempt to autodetect this host, but it will often be correct if, for example, there is a proxy between Pelias and its users. This parameter allows setting a specific URL to avoid any such issues

A good starting configuration file includes this section (fill in the service and Elasticsearch hosts as needed):

  "esclient": {
    "hosts": [{
      "host": "elasticsearch"
  "api": {
    "services": {
      "placeholder": {
        "url": "http://placeholder:4100"
      "libpostal": {
        "url": "http://libpostal:8080"
      "pip": {
        "url": "http://pip-service:4200"
      "interpolation": {
        "url": "http://interpolation:4300"
  "logger": {
    "level": "debug"


Please fork and pull request against upstream master on a feature branch. Pretty please; provide unit tests and script fixtures in the test directory.

Unit tests

You can run the unit test suite using the command:

$ npm test

HTTP tests

We have another set of tests which are used to test the HTTP API layer, these tests send expected HTTP requests and then assert that the responses coming back have the correct geoJSON format and HTTP status codes.

You can run the HTTP test suite using the command:

$ npm run ciao

Note: some of the tests in this suite fail when no data is present in the index, there is a small set of test documents provided in ./test/ciao_test_data which can be inserted in order to avoid these errors.

To inject dummy data in to your local index:

$ node test/ciao_test_data.js

You can confirm the dummy data has been inserted with the command:

$ curl localhost:9200/pelias/_count?pretty
  "count" : 9,

Continuous Integration

Travis tests every release against all supported Node.js versions.

Build Status


We rely on semantic-release and Greenkeeper to maintain our module and dependency versions.

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