# Tools for Web Development

If you want to create an application for the web using geographic data there are certain JavaScript libraries and plugins that enable possibilites to create engaging projects.

# Web mapping JS APIs

Leaflet (opens new window)
Leaflet is an open-source JavaScript library to develop web map applications supported a huge community building plugins for every imaginable purpose.

OpenLayers (opens new window)
OpenLayers is another free & open-source JavaScript library to make interactive web maps and visualize geospatial data, on top of raster or vector tile layers.

Polymaps (opens new window)
With Polymaps' free JavaScript library it is possible to create dynamic, interactive web maps supporting tiled vector data in addition to traditional raster tiles. It is a Project by SimpleGeo and Stamen.

Mapzen (opens new window)
Temporarily disabled, now a Linux Foundation project, Mapzen offers a framework to build interactive maps for web , Android or iOs applications. To a certain degree the usage of Mapzen is free.

d3js (opens new window)
d3 is a widely used JavaScript library to visualize data using HTML, CSS and SVG.

amCharts 4 Map Chart (opens new window)
amCharts is a javascript charting library incorporating svg maps for developing clean and interactive data visualization, similar to visualization sone with D3js. Pixel Map Generator (opens new window) is a tool that lets you generate a map of your desire and export ist as SVG, HTML or image.

unfolding (opens new window)
To create interactive geovisualizations and applications unfolding offers a library in Processing and Java.

# Esri

ArcGIS online (opens new window)
A mapping platform developed by one of the world's leading GIS company. ArcGIS online provides tools to built an interactive map application (web, desktop, mobile) and visualize data in an intuitive way.

ArcGIS StoryMaps (opens new window)
Implementing maps and content to create an interactive story telling application that encourages users to explore data and information.

Esri Leaflet (opens new window)
The API by Esri is able to use ArcGIS services with Leaflet (opens new window) web maps.

# Mapbox

Mapbox (opens new window)
Mapbox is another mapping platform provider much like Esri or Carto. Mapping application

Mapbox JS (opens new window)
An open-source plugin extending Leaflet (opens new window) to support Mapbox services, such as custom base maps made in Mapbox Studio, in raster maps.

Mapbox GL JS (opens new window)
The JavaScript library is using WebGl to display vector tiles and data in interactive web maps connecting Mapbox services.

# Carto

Carto (opens new window)
Similar to Mapbox, Carto offers a platform with many solutions for different geospatial tasks.

Odyssey JS (opens new window)
Developed by Carto odyssey offers an easy way to forge an engaging story combining content (text, video, images) and web maps. An interesting tutorial can be found on Digital Geography: "Odyssey.js: your easy story mapping engine" (2014) (opens new window).

# Other

Flourish (opens new window)
A web tool to turn spreadsheets into modern data visualizations.

Maptiler (opens new window)
The creation of map prooducts is supported by MapTiler's different solution be it vector data for creating vector tiles, map hosting or application development for web and mobile.

MAPCAT (opens new window)
A service provided to visualize location-based data on any platform or OS. It is based on OpenStreetMap data and offers tools to create raster/vector tiles, enable routing and POI search engine.

SimpleMappr (opens new window)
SimpleMappr is an RESTful API to render free raster maps suitable for reproduction and publications.

Mangomap (opens new window)
Mango is a to visualize and provide easy access to geospatial data in a WebGIS interfaces.

Click2Map (opens new window)
Click2Map is yet another platform to create custim map applications for web and mobile.

HERE XYZ (opens new window)
HERE recently released their real-time geospatial data management system which is cloud-based and accessible by browser to develop engaging web maps. It is free for 2.5GB data transfer and 5GB storage of data.

Hexagon M.App Enterprise (opens new window)
With MAE Hexagon offers a self-hosted browser based platform to create web map, desktop and mobile applications.

# Misc

Mapumental (opens new window)
Mapumental is an API that visualizes travel time in form of buffer zones using a combination of public transport tables and postcode data, displaying results in Leaflet interface.

jVectorMap (opens new window)
Looking for a simple JavaScript library to create chloropleth maps on a whim? jVectorMaps allows to create vector based interactive web maps supported by all modern web browsers using syntaxes based on jQuery.

WorldMapCreator (opens new window)
A fun free online tool developed to create a world map from your own subjective perspective. Options include projection and scale, layers and design. The map can then be exported as PNG. Unique and individual maps occure and allow for various purposes.

Mapbender3 (opens new window)
Mapbender is an open-source content management system (CMS) focussing on map applications and geo-data servervices. It uses frameworks like Symfony, JQuery and OpenLayers.

Worldmap (opens new window)
Developed by the Center of Geographic Analysis (Harvard University) Worldmap is an open-source web mapping framework (currently under construction) to support educational purposes and research. It renders and displays geospatial data in a web map interface.


An interesting blog post about the comparison of web mapping frameworks as mentioned above can be found on Digital Geography: "Create Maps online: A Comparison of 6 webmap providers" (2015) (opens new window)!

# Base map style providers and custom styles

Leaflet Provider (opens new window)
Leaflet Provider is an extension for LeafletJS offering different (mostly raster tile) base maps contributed by different providers such as OpenStreetMap, Thunderforest, Esri, Stamen, etc. To use many of the listed base maps an API-Key for the provider services is often necessary.

Mapbox Studio (opens new window)
Mapbox Studio is part of the product portfolio and lets developers design their very own custom map style using Mapbox' vector tiles and specification. The styles can then be incorporated into applications and web maps. A fun tool connected to Studio is Mapbox Cartogram (opens new window) where you can upload an image and a map style is generated from the RGB values.

Maputnik (opens new window)
Maputnik is an open-source and free editor for vector data using Mapbox Style Specification. It is possible to include vector tiles from different sources (Mapbox, Thunderforest, OpenMapTiles) into one base map. The generated style JSON can then be used for custom base maps.

Carto basemap styles (opens new window)
The three default base map style specifications of Carto (Voyager, Positron and Dark Matter) are open for access on the github page of CartoDB and can be used for vector tile base maps.

Mapzen Tangram (opens new window)
With Mapzen's open-sourced Tangram users have control of their own map style using vector data available for web maps (Tangram JS) and mobile apps (Tangram ES).

# Content Management Systems

Masterportal (opens new window)
Masterportal is an open source Geoportal with many features that make it a great tool for displaying and providing geospatial data.

BlueSpice Wiki (opens new window)
A responsive and dynamic Wiki based on MediaWiki to manage documentations of any kind.

Wiki.js (opens new window)
This open source wiki lets features many useful modules and lets you easily document in an appealing interface and management.

Last Updated: 6/11/2020, 1:53:03 PM