Data serialization formats


Data exchanged with the WideSky REST API is serialized in grids. Grids are two-dimensional tabular representations of tagged entities with some additional metadata. These are represented in either JSON or ZINC formats.

Anatomy of a grid

For a detailed explination, see the Project Haystack specification for grids


Either ZINC or JSON formats can be used for grids. Use the Project Haystack specification links below for detailed explinations:

Special grids

“Empty” grid

An empty grid is one that carries no data. Typically, there is a “dummy” column added called empty to satisfy the “at least one column” requirement.

In JSON, these look like this:

    "meta": {
        "ver": "2.0"
    "cols": [
        {"name": "empty"}
    "rows": []

or as ZINC:


Error grids

Exceptions in a Project Haystack server are reported by way of an error grid. This looks very much like the “empty” grid above, however the metadata carries the following fields:

Field Kind Value Description
err Marker Indicates that this grid carries an error message.
dis Str Human-readable error message reported by the server.
errTrace str (Optional) Stack trace of the error from the server.

In JSON, an error grid may look like this:

    "meta": {
        "dis":"s:An Example Error Message",
        "errTrace":"s:Stack trace of error"

Or as ZINC:

ver:"2.0" dis:"An Example Error Message" err errTrace:"Stack trace of error"

Other Resources:

Below are some helpful developer resources for handling these formats: