Currently we support Polaris on Windows platforms. You can either build Polaris from the source code by cloning a git archive then building using Visual Studio 2015, or by downloading the Windows executables from the latest release v0.7.0.

The project is distributed under BSD license.

POLARIS can be run in a Windows or a Linux(under development) environment. Instructions are given below.


The following tools are needed to clone the code from GitHub, to build a project using cmake, and develop code in Visual Studio.

  • git
  • cmake 3.2.2 or newer (3.5.2 recommended - NOTE there is a bug in 3.8.0 concerning slashes in paths when locating Boost)
  • Visual Studio 2015 (Update 2 recommended)

Get the Dependencies

Libraries and other dependencies can be downloaded using the provided command script.

Here is the list of dependencies:

  • Boost 1.60
  • odb-2.4.0-x86_64-windows
  • libodb-2.4.0
  • libodb-sqlite-2.4.0
  • sqlite3 (3.11.1)
  • rapidjson-1.1.0

Run the command sript to download, extract and build the dependencies:

git clone "" <code_dir>
cd <code_dir>/polarisdeps
get-deps.cmd <dependencies_dir>

This may take a while so be patient.

Build Code Using Cmake

Download polaris in an appropriate directory. Be sure the POLARIS_DEPS_DIR variable is set or supply the dependency folder to the configure_polaris script. The argument to the configure script will ovrride the environment variable.

git clone "" <code_dir>
cd <code_dir>
configure-polaris.cmd <dependencies_dir>
cd build_vs2015

Open Visual Studio:


Or use msbuild: (NOTE: this should be performed in a Visual Studio Native Tools Command Shell)

msbuild polaris.sln /p:Configuration=Debug /p:Platform=x64
msbuild polaris.sln /p:Configuration=Release /p:Platform=x64
-- or

Or combine the configuration and build steps into one: configure-and-build-polaris.cmd <dependencies_dir>

Execution binary for debug is located in <code_dir>\build_vs2015\bin\Debug Execution binary for release is located in <code_dir>\build_vs2015\bin\Release

To build or run Polaris, you will need to download the dependencies from here. If you are builing from the source, the Cmake scripts assume the dependencies are located in C:\opt directory. When you run an executable you need to add folders containing dependencies DLLs to you PATH variable (on Windows you can run SET PATH=%PATH%;C:\opt\polarisdeps\libs). Note that all of the dependenices are already built and you just need to make sure that those can be found by the linker at build time.


Polaris is distributed under a very permissive BSD license. The license allows for using software for both open source and closed source projects as well as commercialization. If you would like to modify existing code or develop new libraries in Polasris, please follow the developer's guide available on Polaris GitHub's Wiki.

Build Models

You can download a test model here. To develop your own transportation network model, you can use Polaris Studio, the editing GIS tool to develop Polaris models. Polaris Studio is developed in Python and can be run from the source, provided that Python and all required packages are installed.

If you have any project related questions, please contact the developers using polaris_help at anl dot gov email.