Common base layers for Map Widgets

To provide a consistent look and feel and avoiding code duplication, the map widgets (at least the ones based on Leaflet) can use a common function to create the map. The base layer that the map will use can be configured via configuration options.


Configuring the base layer

The map widgets use the Leaflet-providers library to make easy to choose the base tile layer that the map widgets will use. You can use any of the supported providers, which are listed in the preview page.


As of October 2023, most if not all of the tile providers require at least some form of registration and / or domain registering. They also have terms of use and will most likely require proper attribution (which should be handled automatically for you when choosing a provider).

If you haven’t configured a map provider you will see the following notice in the map widgets:


The main configuration option to manage the base layer used is ckanext.spatial.common_map.type. The value of this setting should be one of the provider names supported by Leaflet-providers, e.g. Stadia.StamenTerrain, Stadia, MapBox, Herev3.terrainDay, Esri.WorldImagery, USGS.USImagery etc. Note that these values are case-sensitive.

Any additional configuration options required by Leaflet-providers should be set prefixed with ckanext.spatial.common_map., for instance to configure the Stamen Terrain map that was used in previous versions of ckanext-spatial:

# Stadia / Stamen Terrain
ckanext.spatial.common_map.type = Stadia.StamenTerrain
ckanext.spatial.common_map.apikey = <your_api_key>

To use MapBox tiles:

# MapBox
ckanext.spatial.common_map.type = MapBox = <your_map_id>
ckanext.spatial.common_map.mapbox.accessToken = <your_access_token>

Custom layers

You can use any tileset that follows the XYZ convention using the custom type:

ckanext.spatial.common_map.type = custom

You will need to define the tileset URL using ckanext.spatial.common_map.custom_url. This follows the Leaflet URL template format (ie {s} for subdomains if any, {z} for zoom and {x} {y} for tile coordinates). Additionally you can use ckanext.spatial.common_map.subdomains and ckanext.spatial.common_map.attribution if needed (this one will also work for Leaflet-provider layers if you want to tweak the default attribution).

For example:

ckanext.spatial.common_map.type = custom
ckanext.spatial.common_map.custom_url ={z}/{y}/{x}
ckanext.spatial.common_map.attribution = Tiles courtesy of the <a href="">U.S. Geological Survey</a>

Old Stamen tiles

Previous versions of ckanext-spatial defaulted to using the Stamen terrain tiles as they not require registration. These were deprecated and stopped working on October 2023. If you see this error displayed in your map widgets, you need to configure an alternative provider using the methods described in the sections above:


For developers

To pass the base map configuration options to the relevant Javascript module that will initialize the map widget, use the h.get_common_map_config() helper function. This is available when loading the spatial_metadata plugin. If you don’t want to require this plugin, create a new helper function that points to it to avoid duplicating the names, which CKAN won’t allow (see for instance how the GeoJSON preview plugin does it).

The function will return a dictionary with all configuration options that relate to the common base layer (that’s all that start with ckanext.spatial.common_map.)

You will need to dump the dict as JSON on the data-module-map_config attribute (see for instance the dataset_map_base.html and spatial_query.html snippets):

{% set map_config = h.get_common_map_config() %}
<div class="dataset-map" data-module="spatial-query" ... data-module-map_config="{{ h.dump_json(map_config) }}">
  <div id="dataset-map-container"></div>

Once at the Javascript module level, all Leaflet based map widgets should use the ckan.commonLeafletMap constructor to initialize the map. It accepts the following parameters:

  • container: HTML element or id of the map container

  • mapConfig: (Optional) CKAN config related to the common base layer

  • leafletMapOptions: (Optional) Options to pass to the Leaflet Map constructor

  • leafletBaseLayerOptions: (Optional) Options to pass to the Leaflet TileLayer constructor

Most of the times you will want to do something like this for a sidebar map:

var map = ckan.commonLeafletMap('dataset-map-container', this.options.map_config, {attributionControl: false});

And this for a primary content map:

var map = ckan.commonLeafletMap('map', this.options.map_config);