OpenLR™ location referencing

What is OpenLR™?

OpenLR™ is a method for map agnostic location. It enables systems to communicate location information when they use dissimilar maps.

OpenLR™ is communication channel independent. OpenLR™ requires minimal bandwidth for data communication.

OpenLR™ was designed to transfer location information from traffic information systems used by traffic management centers to portable navigation devices and systems. While it achieves this goal, it is also quite versatile. The encoded locations are typically specific road stretches, lists of connected roads, point locations or areas. Generally, OpenLR™ is unrestricted for encoding the location of traffic information. Further application areas include ADAS applications and online routing.

Licensing, Open Source

The goal of OpenLR™ is to be widely adopted by the at-large industry. Therefore, it is proposed as an open standard in an Open Source framework. It is usable for anyone using locations that are transmitted between systems that have dissimilar maps.

OpenLR™ focuses on area, line, and point locations. It is owned by the OpenLR™ Association. The standard was developed by TomTom International B.V., though everyone may contribute to its further development.

Key business and technical benefits of OpenLR™

OpenLR™ has the following business and technical benefits:

  • It is an open industry standard that is available royalty-free

  • It is an Open Source Model based on an Apache license v2.0

  • The OpenLR™ Trade Mark is available to use free of charge with the technology

  • It is a map-agnostic dynamic location referencing method

  • It is applicable to the full road network, including secondary and urban roads

  • It is compact

  • It supports various transport formats; some are bandwidth efficient and some are XML


The following are useful documents for learning more about OpenLR™:


This section provides answers to frequently asked questions about OpenLR™ in the areas of General, License, Testing, Contribution and Usage.

Traffic Information

OpenLR™ is used in Traffic Management Centers for encoding of traffic event locations. Receivers are decoding the location on the device.

ADAS applications

OpenLR™ is used to transmit a route from the navigation system towards an electronic horizon provider working with a separate, more detailed map. The provider can use the extracted route in order to built-up the electronic horizon along the most probable path which typically extends along the current route.

Online Routing

Online routing services use OpenLR™ to transmit routes from the cloud to client devices.

More information about the OpenLR™ location referencing method and developer information can be found on .