Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I had a little confusion about the representation of a geometry as well-known-text (WKT). I was searching for the WKT Specs to search for the exact representation, but I did not find the Standard. Is there a standards document or reference for WKT? where can I find it?

share|improve this question
I guess open doesn't necessarily mean free. The only place I could find it is here. It appears a payment is required. – Kirk Kuykendall Jan 17 '13 at 4:08
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Well known text for geometry is defined in OGC 01-103r4 (amongst other places). Section 7 of that document provides the syntax. There is also a list of SQL functions relating to those in Part 2 of the Simple Features spec (also an OGC product).

The ISO documents are just a more expensive way to get much the same thing.

There are useful extensions such as the Extended WKT (EWKT) that is defined by PostGIS and supported by various other tools such as SpatiaLite, and provides the SRS, which you probably want.

Update: As pointed out in a comment, there is also WKT representation for Coordinate Reference Systems: OGC 12-063r5. However these two WKT forms are using similar syntax to describe different things - one is for a geometry (e.g. a linestring), and the other for a CRS (e.g. for a geometric or temporal datum).

share|improve this answer
This has turned into a standard, on this page you may find Geographic information — Well known text representation of coordinate reference systems document. – TLama Jun 27 '15 at 12:36

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.