Dirt Simple PostGIS HTTP API
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Dirt-Simple PostGIS HTTP API

The Dirt-Simple PostGIS HTTP API, or dirt, exposes PostGIS functionality to your applications over HTTP.

Getting started


  • Node
  • PostgreSQL with PostGIS
  • A PostgreSQL login for the service that has select rights to any tables or views you want to expose to dirt.

Step 1: get the goodies

Note: if you don't have git, you can download a zip file of the project instead.

git clone https://github.com/tobinbradley/dirt-simple-postgis-http-api.git dirt
cd dirt
npm install

Step 2: add your configuration

Add your Postgres connection information to config/index.json.txt and rename it index.json. Information on the config options can be found here.

Step 3: fire it up!

npm start

To view interactive documentation, head to


Due credit

The real credit for this project goes to the great folks behind the following open source software:

How it works

The core of the project is Fastify.

Fastify is a web framework highly focused on providing the best developer experience with the least overhead and a powerful plugin architecture. It is inspired by Hapi and Express and as far as we know, it is one of the fastest web frameworks in town.

Fastify is written by some of the core Node developers, and it's awesome. A number of Fastify plugins (fastify-autoload, fastify-caching, fastify-compress, fastify-cors, fastify-postgres, and fastify-swagger) are used to abstract away a lot of boilerplate. If you're looking for additional functionality, check out the Fastify ecosystem.

All routes are stored in the routes folder and are automatically loaded on start. Check out the routes readme for more information.

Tips and tricks


Your Postgres login will need select rights to any tables or views it should be able to access. For security, it should only have select rights unless you plan to specifically add a route that writes to a table.

Dirt uses connection pooling, minimizing database connections.

Mapbox vector tiles

The mvt route serves Mapbox Vector Tiles. The layer name in the returned protobuf will be the same as the table name passed as input. Here's an example of using both geojson and mvt routes with Mapbox GL JS.

map.on('load', function() {
    id: 'dirt-mvt',
    source: {
      type: 'vector',
      tiles: ['http://localhost:3000/v1/mvt/voter_precinct/{z}/{x}/{y}'],
      maxzoom: 14,
      minzoom: 5
    'source-layer': 'voter_precinct',
    type: 'fill',
    minzoom: 5,
    paint: {
      'fill-color': '#088',
      'fill-outline-color': '#333'

    id: 'dirt-geojson',
    type: 'circle',
    source: {
      type: 'geojson',
      data: 'http://localhost:3000/v1/geojson/voter_polling_location'
    paint: {
      'circle-radius': 2,
      'circle-color': '#bada55'


  • If you modify code or add a route, dirt will not see it until dirt is restarted.
  • The mvt route requires PostGIS 2.4 or higher.
  • If you pass path parameters that have encoded slashes through Apache (i.e. %2F), Apache by default will reject those requests with a 404 (Docs: AllowEncodedSlashes). To fix that, add AllowEncodedSlashes NoDecode to the end of your httpd.conf.