I'm getting started with OpenLayers and all was going well until I tried to use my own GeoJSON file.

I started with the Cartographic Boundary Shapefiles - Counties from the Census website, loaded it into http://www.mapshaper.org/ and exported it as a GeoJSON file. However when I use that as my source (either a straight Vector layer or as an Image layer) it doesn't display anything. No errors- just a empty window with zoom controls. I suspect it may have something to do with projections so I made it the only layer, but it didn't help.

   <script type="text/javascript">
  var map = new ol.Map({
    target: 'map',
    layers: [
      //new ol.layer.Tile({
      //  source: new ol.source.Stamen({layer: 'toner-lite'})
      new ol.layer.Vector({
        title: 'US Counties',
        source: new ol.source.Vector({url: 'data/counties.geojson', format: new ol.format.GeoJSON() }),
        style: new ol.style.Style({
          fill: new ol.style.Fill({
            color: 'blue'
          stroke: new ol.style.Stroke({
            color: 'olive',
            width: 10
    view: new ol.View({
      center: "center",
      zoom: 1

2 Answers 2


Maybe your problem is with the ol.View. There's no center: "center". It requires a coordinate. I follow your steps and made you an example:


The only difference is that I exported the shapefile as TopoJson which is smaller.


There are two things may cause the problem: first, you need a local server like tomcat to get your GeoJSON file from this and solve same-origin policy issue. Second, you should define a proper projection for your GeoJSON file in the 'source' object as below:

source: new ol.source.Vector({
      url: 'data/counties.geojson', 
      format: new ol.format.GeoJSON(),
      projection: 'EPSG:3857'});
  • Since 2016 GeoJSON (RFC 7946) only has one projection it's CRS:84
    – nmtoken
    Aug 25, 2020 at 8:50

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