I am fairly new to the GIS and wanted to ask something which can be very preliminary or even worse totally invalid.

How do I create a geom randomly centered around or close to a given point anywhere.

i.e. for example

"coordinates":[[[-87.359296,35.00118], [-85.606675,34.984749], 

so the geometry field value in the above geojson is for Alabama region.

If I were to create random complex polygon geom (with at least 20 different points) on map through code, how would I do it?

Basically I want to generate a random polygon around a point and this polygon can't be simple shape (i.e. quadrilateral or so)

  • Do you have any specifications for the program you are using or programming language? If so I would add it to the OP
    – GISHuman
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 12:55
  • doesn't matter, but still it can be C#, java, python, nodejs anything Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 13:16

3 Answers 3


I use something like:

public static Polygon createRandomPolygon(int n) {
    double latitude = (Math.random() * 180.0) - 90.0;
    double longitude = (Math.random() * 360.0) - 180.0;
    GeometryFactory geometryFactory = new GeometryFactory();
    /* Longitude (= x coord) first ! */
    Polygon poly = null;
    boolean valid = false;
    while (!valid) {
      ArrayList<Coordinate> points = new ArrayList<Coordinate>();
      points.add(new Coordinate(longitude, latitude));
      double lon = longitude;
      double lat = latitude;
      for (int i = 1; i < n; i++) {
        double deltaX = (Math.random() * 10.0) - 5.0;
        double deltaY = (Math.random() * 10.0) - 5.0;
        lon += deltaX;
        lat += deltaY;
        points.add(new Coordinate(lon, lat));
      points.add(new Coordinate(longitude, latitude));
      poly = geometryFactory.createPolygon((Coordinate[]) points.toArray(new Coordinate[] {}));
      valid = poly.isValid();
    return poly;

You could adjust the size of the step to reflect your specific use case.

  • I am going to try this and see how it pans out Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 14:16

An strategy I would use, is to generate a random set of points using a Gaussian method centered at the point, triangulate it with a Delaunay triangulation, and then randomly subtract triangles in the boundary. The sum of the remaining triangles would be your Polygon.

  • wow, okay, let's see how to do all those, thanks for your answer, this definitely helps to my understanding of geom Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 14:18

I was able to solve this by generating different co-ordinates based on base co-ordinate, bearing and distance. so I did something like this:

        var loc = factory.map.getCoordinateFromPixel([x, y-95]);
        var origin = new LatLon(loc[0], loc[1]);
        var distance = 500;
        var bearing = 0;
        var data = []
        while (bearing < 360) {
            destination = origin.destinationPoint(distance, bearing);
            data.push([destination['lat'], destination['lon']]);
            distance = getRandomNumber(5000, 8000);
            bearing = bearing + getRandomNumber(10, 20);
        return data;

        function getRandomNumber(min, max) {
            return Math.floor(Math.random() * (max - min)) + min;

basically, I keep calculating points at a variable distance and variable angle, till the angle reaches 360 degrees. I used geodesy lib to save me from manually calculating euclidean distance of sorts on 3D.

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