Now that you have pygeoapi installed and a basic configuration setup, it’s time to complete the administrative steps required before starting up the server. The remaining steps are:

  • create OpenAPI document

  • set system environment variables

Creating the OpenAPI document

The OpenAPI document ia a YAML configuration which is generated from the pygeoapi configuration, and describes the server information, endpoints, and parameters.

To generate the OpenAPI document, run the following:

pygeoapi generate-openapi-document -c /path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml

This will dump the OpenAPI document as YAML to your system’s stdout. To save to a file on disk, run:

pygeoapi generate-openapi-document -c /path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml > /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml

To generate the OpenAPI document as JSON, run:

pygeoapi generate-openapi-document -c /path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml -f json > /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.json


Generate as YAML or JSON? If your OpenAPI YAML definition is slow to render as JSON, saving as JSON to disk will help with performance at run-time.


The OpenAPI document provides detailed information on query parameters, and dataset property names and their data types. Whenever you make changes to your pygeoapi configuration, always refresh the accompanying OpenAPI document.

See also

OpenAPI for more information on pygeoapi’s OpenAPI support

Verifying configuration files

To ensure your YAML configurations are correctly formatted, you can use any YAML validator, or try the Python one-liner per below:

python -c 'import yaml, sys; yaml.safe_load(sys.stdin)' < /path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml
python -c 'import yaml, sys; yaml.safe_load(sys.stdin)' < /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml

To ensure your OpenAPI JSON is correctly formatted, you can use any JSON validator, or try the Python one-liner per below:

cat /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.json | python -m json.tool

Setting system environment variables

Now, let’s set our system environment variables.


export PYGEOAPI_CONFIG=/path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml
export PYGEOAPI_OPENAPI=/path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml
# or if OpenAPI JSON
export PYGEOAPI_OPENAPI=/path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.json

In Windows:

set PYGEOAPI_CONFIG=/path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml
set PYGEOAPI_OPENAPI=/path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml
# or if OpenAPI JSON
set PYGEOAPI_OPENAPI=/path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.json


At this point you are ready to run the server. Let’s go!