Geospatial Data in JSON Format
However, all that data comes in some form of a spatial database, and most likely as shape files. For most of the web developers not used to working with the GIS data, this can be a significant obstacle. Seasoned GIS developers would use some GIS tools, most likely OGR, to transform and adapt the spatial data. Web developers don’t have time or an actual need to learn these specialized tools.
Fortunately, nowadays, developers converted many of these traditional GIS tools, which are mostly command-line tools, to work inside browsers. However, it is important to stress that despite the fact the tools are available to anyone with just the Internet connection and a browser, these tools require some basic geospatial knowledge to use those properly and get quality results.
Although, it wouldn’t be ideal for most web developers to have all that geospatial data available, not as the database files, but rather in a format that is closer to web standards, such as JSON?
Please, meet Geojson.xyz, a site that removes all the mentioned barriers, as it offers all the geodata from the natural Earth prepared in the web-friendly GeoJSON format. Geojson.xyz is a simple, open source website utility for fast access to GeoJSON data for web mapping examples and experiments. They provide all the GeJSONs over CORS-enabled HTTP endpoints and are utilizing CDN. For advanced users, they also offer a command-line utility.
So, whether you have some GIS knowledge or are just a usual web developer, the next time you need to use some geospatial data, give Geojson.xyz a try.