Skip to content


Folders and files

Last commit message
Last commit date

Latest commit


Repository files navigation

Simple Features

Documentation Build Status Go Report Card Coverage Status

Simple Features is a 2D geometry library that provides Go types that model geometries, as well as algorithms that operate on them.

It's a pure Go Implementation of the OpenGIS Consortium's Simple Feature Access Specification (which can be found here). This is the same specification that GEOS, JTS, and PostGIS implement, so the Simple Features API will be familiar to developers who have used those libraries before.

Table of Contents

Geometry Types

Type Example Description
Point Point is a single location in space.
MultiPoint MultiPoint is collection of points in space.
LineString LineString is curve defined by linear interpolation between a set of control points.
MultiLineString MultiLineString is a collection of LineStrings.
Polygon Polygon is a planar surface geometry that bounds some area. It may have holes.
MultiPolygon MultiPolygon is collection of Polygons (with some constraints on how the Polygons interact with each other).
GeometryCollection GeometryCollection is an unconstrained collection of geometries.
Geometry Geometry holds any type of geometry (Point, MultiPoint, LineString, MultiLineString, Polygon, MultiPolygon, or GeometryCollection). It's the type that the Simple Features library uses when it needs to represent geometries in a generic way.
Envelope Envelope is an axis aligned bounding box typically used to describe the spatial extent of other geometric entities.

Marshalling and Unmarshalling

Simple features supports the following external geometry representation formats:

Format Example Description
WKT POLYGON((0 0,0 1,1 1,1 0,0 0)) Well Known Text is a human readable format for storing geometries. It's often the lowest common denominator geometry format, and is useful for integration with other GIS applications.
WKB <binary> Well Known Binary is a machine readable format that is efficient for computers to use (both from a processing and storage space perspective). WKB is a good choice for transferring geometries to and from PostGIS and other databases that support geometric types.
GeoJSON {"type":"Polygon","coordinates":[[[0,0],[0,1],[1,1],[1,0],[0,0]]]} GeoJSON represents geometries in a similar way to WKB, but is based on the JSON format. This makes it ideal to use with web APIs or other situations where JSON would normally be used.
TWKB <binary> Tiny Well Known Binary is a multi-purpose compressed binary format for serialising vector geometries into a stream of bytes. It emphasises minimising the size of the serialised representation. It's a good choice when space is at a premium (e.g. for storage within a web token).

Geometry Algorithms

The following algorithms are supported:

Miscellaneous Algorithms Description
Area Finds the area of the geometry (for Polygons and MultiPolygons).
Centroid Finds the centroid of the geometry.
ConvexHull Finds the convex hull of the geometry.
Distance Finds the shortest distance between two geometries.
Envelope Finds the smallest axis-aligned bounding-box that surrounds the geometry.
ExactEquals Determines if two geometries are structurally equal.
Length Finds the length of the geometry (for LineStrings and MultiLineStrings).
PointOnSurface Finds a point that lies inside the geometry.
Relate Calculates the DE-9IM intersection describing the relationship between two geometries.
Simplify Simplifies a geometry using the Ramer–Douglas–Peucker algorithm.
Set Operations Description
Union Joins the parts from two geometries together.
Intersection Finds the parts of two geometries that are in common.
Difference Finds the parts of a geometry that are not also part of another geometry.
SymmetricDifference Finds the parts of two geometries that are not in common.
Named Spatial Predicates Description
Equals Determines if two geometries are topologically equal.
Intersects Determines if two geometries intersect with each other.
Disjoint Determines if two geometries have no common points.
Contains Determines if one geometry contains another.
CoveredBy Determines if one geometry is covered by another.
Covers Determines if one geometry covers another.
Overlaps Determines if one geometry overlaps another.
Touches Determines if one geometry touches another.
Within Determines if one geometry is within another.
Crosses Determines if one geometry crosses another.

GEOS Wrapper

A GEOS CGO wrapper is also provided, giving access to functionality not yet implemented natively in Go. The wrapper is implemented in a separate package, meaning that library users who don't need this additional functionality don't need to expose themselves to CGO.


The following examples show some common operations (errors are omitted for brevity).


Encoding and decoding WKT:

// Unmarshal from WKT
input := "POLYGON((0 0,0 1,1 1,1 0,0 0))"
g, _ := geom.UnmarshalWKT(input)

// Marshal to WKT
output := g.AsText()
fmt.Println(output) // Prints: POLYGON((0 0,0 1,1 1,1 0,0 0))


Encoding and decoding WKB directly:

// Marshal as WKB
coords := geom.Coordinates{XY: geom.XY{1.5, 2.5}}
pt := geom.NewPoint(coords)
wkb := pt.AsBinary()
fmt.Println(wkb) // Prints: [1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 248 63 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 64]

// Unmarshal from WKB
fromWKB, _ := geom.UnmarshalWKB(wkb)
fmt.Println(fromWKB.AsText()) // POINT(1.5 2.5)

Encoding and decoding WKB for integration with PostGIS:

db, _ := sql.Open("postgres", "postgres://...")

    CREATE TABLE my_table (
        my_geom geometry(geometry, 4326),
        population double precision

// Insert our geometry and population data into PostGIS via WKB.
coords := geom.Coordinates{XY: geom.XY{-74.0, 40.7}}
nyc := geom.NewPoint(coords)
    INSERT INTO my_table
    (my_geom, population)
    VALUES (ST_GeomFromWKB($1, 4326), $2)`,
    nyc, 8.4e6,

// Get the geometry and population data back out of PostGIS via WKB.
var location geom.Geometry
var population float64
    SELECT ST_AsBinary(my_geom), population
    FROM my_table LIMIT 1`,
).Scan(&location, &population)
fmt.Println(location.AsText(), population) // Prints: POINT(-74 40.7) 8.4e+06


Encoding and decoding GeoJSON directly:

// Unmarshal geometry from GeoJSON.
raw := `{"type":"Point","coordinates":[-74.0,40.7]}`
var g geom.Geometry
fmt.Println(g.AsText()) // Prints: POINT(-74 40.7)

// Marshal back to GeoJSON.
enc := json.NewEncoder(os.Stdout)
enc.Encode(g) // Prints: {"type":"Point","coordinates":[-74,40.7]}

Geometries can also be part of larger structs:

type CityPopulation struct {
    Location   geom.Geometry `json:"loc"`
    Population int           `json:"pop"`

// Unmarshal geometry from GeoJSON.
raw := `{"loc":{"type":"Point","coordinates":[-74.0,40.7]},"pop":8400000}`
var v CityPopulation
fmt.Println(v.Location.AsText()) // Prints: POINT(-74 40.7)
fmt.Println(v.Population)        // Prints: 8400000

// Marshal back to GeoJSON.
enc := json.NewEncoder(os.Stdout)
enc.Encode(v) // Prints: {"loc":{"type":"Point","coordinates":[-74,40.7]},"pop":8400000}