Getting Started

Download the GOL Tool

Use this button to start the download (12 MB):

Uncompress the ZIP file in a folder of your choice. You must have Java Runtime Version 16 or above (64-bit) installed on your system (Download latest version of OpenJDK).

This distribution contains both gol.bat (for Windows) and gol shell script (for Linux and Mac). Please ensure that the JAVA_HOME environment property is set correctly.

Linux users: You may have to make the launcher script executable using chmod u+x gol. To conveniently use the command from any folder, consider creating a symbolic link on your path, e.g. ln -s gol_app_dir/gol ~/bin/gol.

For usage, see GOL User Guide or run gol help.

Create your first geographic object library

Grab some OpenStreetMap data in OSM-PBF format from a provider such as Geofabrik (We recommend starting with a country-sized extract, or maybe just a single state).

Run the build command:

gol build france france-latest.osm.pbf

(Depending on your hardware and the size of the extract, this could take a few minutes to half an hour to complete.)

Alternatively, download our pre-built example dataset (Switzerland – 400 MB):

gol load -n swiss

Now you can familiarize yourself with some of GeoDesk’s capabilities by running the gol query command.

Download the GeoDesk Java Library

You will need the GeoDesk Java library if you want to incorporate the GeoDesk database engine into your own geospatial applications. You can skip this step if you only want to use the GOL command-line tool.

If you’re using Maven, add this dependency to your project:


Alternatively, build the latest version from source:

git clone
cd geodesk
mvn install

GeoDesk requires JRE 16 or above (64-bit), and the following third-party libraries (Maven should automatically install these for you):

Need help?

Problems, questions or feedback? Visit the GeoDesk GitHub repository.