My problem:

I am using a web application that uses geojson file to define point data - here is the application:


I would like to use the skeleton of the application to make my own maps, again keeping (different) point data in a geojson file. I typed in the json file myself, converted it into geojson with a python script, and confirmed with geojsonlint that the data are properly formatted.

Now the PROBLEM:

the geojson file I have put on my own website (just scp-ed it over). The application does not work any more. I have tried to google for an answer, but, to my surprise, could not find any answers, anywhere.

I figured the following: the original geojson file is here:

var bikeGeoJsonUrl = "https://opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/5fe9482a4ed34551a883355db0f41164_3.geojson";

When I try to load the above geojson file in the browser I get "this is geojson file, what would you like to do, open, save, etc"

My geojson file is on my website:

var bikeGeoJsonUrl  = "https://enjoy-virginia.com/geojson/cville-bike-racks.geojson";

When I try to load it in the browser, it just loads in as a text file, so browser thinks it is just a text.

I found that I could actually use myjson.com site to store my text geojson file and open racks.html file with locations properly.

BUT: I would really want to know how is my geojson file on my website different in format from the way myjson.com is saving the same file?

I also remember a few months ago I had my geojson files stored on github and the applications worked fine, but it has now stopped working.

  • I'm not sure I understand. Do you have some server application reading the geojson? From what I see you are just posting the geojson file on the webserver but there is no interpretation. You need something to interpret it on your architecture, like geoserver/openlayers or leaflet or whatever.
    – auslander
    May 25, 2018 at 18:16
  • Yes - it is a mapbox/turf application that reads in geojson and then displays the points. It displayed them properly when I save myfile.geojson on myjson.com site, and it does not display them at all when I store exactly the same file on my website ;8-)
    – Emil Frlez
    May 25, 2018 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


If you compare the http response header, you will see that there is a significant difference.


  • Access-Control-Allow-Methods: GET
  • Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *
  • Access-Control-Expose-Headers: ETag
  • Access-Control-Max-Age: 3000
  • Content-disposition: attachment; filename=Bicycle_Rack_Points.geojson
  • Content-Encoding: gzip
  • Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
  • Date: ....
  • ETag: ...
  • Last-Modified: Tue, 14 Nov 2017 15:25:58 GMT
  • Server: ...
  • Vary: ...
  • Content-Length: 5087
  • Connection: keep-alive

your server

  • server: nginx
  • date: ...
  • content-length: 62609
  • last-modified: Thu, 24 May 2018 19:43:19 GMT
  • etag: ...
  • host-header: 192fc2e7e50945beb8231a492d6a8024
  • x-proxy-cache: MISS
  • accept-ranges: bytes
  • X-Firefox-Spdy: ...

The response of the opendata.arcgis.com server contains a Content-Type parameter. This parameter is used to identify the right data visualization or program.

See browser application settings.

  • Yes - but I cannot wrap my head around that. I use wget (or curl) to get the file from arcgis servet:
    – Emil Frlez
    May 25, 2018 at 19:06
  • ... continuing: "wget opendata.arcgis.com/datasets/…" then I rename the file "mv 5fe9482a4ed34551a883355db0f41164_3.geojson cville-bike-racks.geojson", then I copy the file to my website "scp cville-bike-racks.geojson mywebsite:/geojson". Where does this "Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8" comes from? I thought that the JSON file is always a plain text file. That is my problem - where it is coded in that "somefile.geojson" is a geojson file, if it is just a plain text file that only follows JSON format?\
    – Emil Frlez
    May 25, 2018 at 19:16
  • 1
    mime.types should contain application/vnd.geo+json geojson; May 25, 2018 at 19:24
  • OK - but how do I convert my ASCII text file into, say "zipped/UTF-8/Content-Type: application/json" file?
    – Emil Frlez
    May 25, 2018 at 19:34

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