I'm trying to read some geo-data from PostGIS database using PHP, creating a GeoJSON file and showing it on a base map using OpenLayers.

The PHP code works just fine. The generated data in GeoJSON format is valid (I checked it with jsonlint). When I load the page, the developer tools shows no errors, but also doesn't load any data on the map.

I have just started learning OpenLayers and don't know much about it but saw some examples for this and tried to do the same.

Am I doing something wrong in the Openlayers code?

The code is:

var map = new OpenLayers.Map({
    div: "map",
    layers: [
        new OpenLayers.Layer.WMS(
            "WMS", "http://vmap0.tiles.osgeo.org/wms/vmap0",
            {layers: "basic"}
        new OpenLayers.Layer.Vector("GJ", {
            strategies: [new OpenLayers.Strategy.Fixed()],
            protocol: new OpenLayers.Protocol.HTTP({
                url: "gj/DB2GeoJson.php",
                format: new OpenLayers.Format.GeoJSON({
                    extractStyles: true, 
                    extractAttributes: true,
                    maxDepth: 2
    center: new OpenLayers.LonLat(-112.169, 36.099),
    zoom: 11

and the GeoJson file generated is:

"type": "FeatureCollection",
"features": [{
    "type": "feature",
    "id": "97",
    "geometry": null,
    "properties": {
        "popn_total": ["97"],
        "boroname": ["Staten Island"]
}, {
    "type": "feature",
    "id": "66",
    "geometry": null,
    "properties": {
        "popn_total": ["66"],
        "boroname": ["Staten Island"]
}, {
    "geometry": ["{\"type\":\"MultiPolygon\",\"coordinates\":[[[[578620.717363209,4495974.81786636],[578535.357633272,4495915.80999248],[578524.626146389,4495908.44992811],[578475.151658836,4495981.94016235],[578550.53822566,4496033.27562186],[578571.6880873,4496047.75223892],[578620.717363209,4495974.81786636]]]]}"]


  • 1
    I presume the php script is hosted on a webserver. Had you checked already the webserver's log? You must to assure yourself the script execution, in the OpenLeayers context, was ok or not. Was the generated GeoJson sent to the browser? If not, what is the cause? Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 17:26
  • Yes, the PHP script is hosted on a webserver. when I load the Php page myself the code generated in GeoJSON format appears in the browser, so I guess it is functioning correctly...
    – Catlover
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 17:31
  • You really must to check the webserver log and to see if it works when loading the OpenLayers code! Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 17:33
  • I'm a beginner here. Could you kindly tell me how I can check the webserver log? I'm using IIS on Windows server 2013
    – Catlover
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 17:50
  • Unfortunately, I've switched to Apache during the dot-coms boom! Let's hope someone else will guide you. Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 18:30

2 Answers 2


Your generated GeoJSON is valid JSON, no problem. But, it's not valid GeoJson, as you can see here: http://geojsonlint.com/

The problem seems to be that the features-array in your featurecollection contains three features, two with geometry:none and one with just geometry (which is also string-encoded).

So, in short: Your OpenLayers-code seems fine, the trouble is your PHP-code that generates the GeoJSON.

  • I agree with you. I'm too lazy to see so deeply ;-) ID:97 and ID:66
    – Magno C
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 11:34
  • @atlefren: As you mentioned that the generated file is not valid GeoJson. May I ask what is the problem with it? or in another way my question is how does a valid GeoJson file look like? I want to compare and see where exactly is the problem to fix the php code....
    – Catlover
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 11:48
  • 2
    – atlefren
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 11:49
  • @atlefren: Thanks. Ok. Now I see lots of differences. btw, is the "id":"97" also a problem that should be removed?
    – Catlover
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 12:06
  • 2
    not exactly sure if it's case sensitive, but in most sane computing environments 'A' and 'a' is two different things, so I would guess. id should be fine. Your problem is the geometry: none fields and the feature with just a geometry (quoted as a string)
    – atlefren
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 12:08

Try here: Integrate GeoJSON file with openlayers.protocol.http

See my answer (the accepted one). The code will solve your problem for sure.

After all, try to access your URL (gj/DB2GeoJson.php) using the browser and check it here : http://json.parser.online.fr/

Check for blank spaces and strange characters (PHP is the winner in messing html things). Don't forget to see the page SOURCE, not only what the browser shows.

  • 1
    You're welcome. @atlefren have the correct answer. Your 97 and 66 registers have no geometry, so the OpenLayers have no way to show it. "id":"97","geometry":null
    – Magno C
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 13:46
  • You're right....
    – Catlover
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 13:50

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