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

  • validate OpenAPI document

  • set system environment variables

Creating the OpenAPI document

The OpenAPI document is 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 openapi generate /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 openapi generate /path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml > /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml

You can also write to a file explicitly via the --output-file option:

pygeoapi openapi generate /path/to/my-pygeoapi-config.yml --output-file /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml

To generate the OpenAPI document as JSON, run:

pygeoapi openapi generate /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.


By default, pygeoapi OpenAPI document generation will fail on any collection whose provider is improperly configured or when encountering a connection issue. To skip failing collections, use the –no-fail-on-invalid-collection flag. The OpenAPI document will then be generated without the failing collection(s)

See also

OpenAPI for more information on pygeoapi’s OpenAPI support

Validating the OpenAPI document

To ensure your OpenAPI document is valid, pygeoapi provides a validation utility that can be run as follows:

pygeoapi openapi validate /path/to/my-pygeoapi-openapi.yml

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!