ORS map client


This application implements a map client for the openrouteservice API as Single Page Application (SPA). It is a base application that can be used for multiple purposes, customized via configurations and extended via plug-ins.

The base application is using VueJS, Vuetify and a set of custom components, directives and services. The structure uses a feature-by-folder design, allowing view, code and translation elements to be contained in a folder.

This app uses single file components and others non-native javascript code that are transpiled to native javascript during the build process. Therefore, the app needs to be compiled before running it either in dev or production mode. The VueJS components allow a better code organization, weak and clear coupling between components and an easier code understanding.

ORS map client


Set up and run locally

Run the app locally in three steps: set the environment up, get the code and define a configuration file.

  1. To manage dependencies and pack the app it is necessary to have Node version 12. If you already have it, skip this step. If you don't, please install it by running:
curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_12.x | bash - && \
apt-get update && \
apt-get install -y nodejs && \
npm install -g npm && \
npm update -g
  1. Clone the repository of the ORS Map Client, go to the root folder and install the dependencies:
git clone https://github.com/GIScience/ors-map-client.git

# Go to your local repository root folder
cd ors-map-client

# The installation of dependencies is required before running the app:
npm install
  1. Copy fo the files in the src/config-example to src/config, without -example in their names. The files are:
  • app-config-example.js => app-config.js

  • ors-map-filters-example.js => ors-map-filters.js

  • layer-zoom-mapping-example.js => layer-zoom-mapping.js

  • hooks-example.js => hooks.js

  • theme-example.js => theme.js

  • default-map-settings-example.js => default-map-settings.js

  • settings-options-example.js => settings-options.js

    If you are using a linux/unix compatible terminal, you can do that by running:

    cd src && cp config-examples/* config && for i in config/*-example.js; do mv -- "$i" "${i%-example.js}.js"; done
  1. Set the app-config.js values for:
  • orsApiKey - ORS API key to be used when ot running the app from localhost or ors valid domains
  • bitlyApiKey - the Bitly key (used to shorten the share URL)
  • bitlyLogin - the Bitly login (used to shorten the share URL)
  1. The ORS menu is loaded/used by default. If you want to use a custom menu, have a look in the hooks-example.js.

The filters, theme and hooks of the map client can be customized if needed.

At this point the app is ready to run in dev mode. Do it by executing the following command in the app root folder:

npm run dev
# This will start a standalone http node server and the host and port to access it will be displayed

App folders

App folder structure under src:

  • assets - images and icons storage

  • common - available mixins, http client, main menu, Vue with Vuetify and theme

  • directives - custom directives

  • filters - custom filters

  • fragments - all app fragments used by pages

  • i18n - internationalization resources

  • models - models used to deal transport ors response data and deals with app state and transitions

  • pages - app pages (currently only the maps page is available)

  • resources - support files like the loader lib, definitions and options used to process requests and responses

  • router - router component based on vue-router components

  • store - app store definitions

  • support - support utilities, like geo-utils, ors-api-runner, routes-resolver and app modes

App flow overview

This is a Single Page Application (SPA). This means that the client app is loaded in the browser and defines which components and pages are processed based on the browser URL. The app watches every change in the browser URL and updates its state based on that. These URL changes don't trigger a request to the back-end directly, but the components loaded/updated will decide which requests must be run to load the required data. Meaning, that the front-end (this app) is decoupled from the back-ends (ORS API and ORS website)

The app load cycle follows these steps:

  1. Execute the main.js file and add global extensions, mixins components and external libs. The file main.js also includes the main files of the router, vuex-store and i18n-translations, which will internally load all .router.js ,.store.js and .i18n.js files from sub-folders.
  2. main.js will run a request to get necessary data from a service and then create a VueJS app instance and load the App.vue. At this point AppHooks is set up and attached to the main VueJS instance and then the appLoaded hook is called.
  3. App.vue includes all basic navigation components, like menu, sidebar, footer etc.
  4. After loading all routes (including the ones in the pages sub folder) the page with the / route (Maps.vue) will also be rendered in the <router-view></router-view> slot in App.vue component.

Data flow, state and requests to services, in a simplified view, happens as follows:

  • The app is loaded
    1. the API data are fetched from ORS website service and if appConfig.appMenu.useORSMenu is true, the menu items are loaded in src/main.js using src/app-loader.js.
    2. the app mode is defined based on the matching URL in the maps.route.js
    3. the maps page, uses the app mode utility to define the app state using the current mode. This utility will also populate the values of the ors-map-filters based on the URL and build the AppRouteData (in src/models/app-route-data.js).
    4. based on the app mode/state certain components are activated/displayed
    5. Every component, once activated, may use the data in src/config/ors-map-filters to render its elements and may run requests to the ORS api using the src/support/ors-api-runner. Once the request succeed, the response data will be used to fill the MapViewData object.
    6. Once an input is changed the app goes to a new URL and this makes the flow restart at the step 2.
    7. If a component changes the MapViewData model, it emits an event to the maps page, that passes the current MapViewData object to the MapView component.
    8. Interactions via MapView may result in events sent back to maps page, that may notify other child components, that in their turn may change the URL and trigger the step 2 again.
    9. Several app hooks are called during the app flow, and it is possible to listen to these hooks and run custom code to modify some app behavior. The available hooks are listed in src/config/hook-example.js and must be coded in src/config/hooks.js.

Feature-by-folder design

This app uses feature by folder components and predefined folders where the business code should be placed in. Example of this design usage:


  • my-page-name (folder)
    • MyPageName.vue (main VueJS component file)
    • my-page-name.css (styles for the page, included by the MyPageName.vue component)
    • my-page-name.store.js (Vuex store module for the page, included by the store/store.js loader)
    • my-page-name.route.js (route to reach this page, included by the router/index loader)
    • i18n (folder)
      • my-page-name.i18n.en.js (in this example containing the EN resources for the page)


  • my-fragment-name (folder under src/fragments/)

    • MyFragmentName.vue (main VueJS component file)
    • my-fragment-name.css (styles for the page, included by the MyFragmentName.vue component)
    • my-fragment-name.store.js (Vuex store module for the fragment, included by the store/store.js loader)
    • i18n (folder)
      • my-fragment-name.i18n.en.js (in this example containing the EN resources for the component)

The app will automatically load:

  • all the locale resources in i18n folder ending with .i18n.*.js where * is the locale
  • the defined routes in files ending with .routes.js
  • the store definitions in files ending with .store.js

Reserved methods and accessors

All the VueJS components created (including the fragments) will have, by default, the following methods/accessors defined in the main vue instance app:

  • showMessage (msg, theme, options) - shows a message using the toaster with specified theme and options

  • showError (msg, options) - shows an error message using the toaster with the specified options

  • showWarning (msg, options) - shows a warning message using the toaster with the specified options

  • showInfo (msg, options) - shows an info message using the toaster with the specified options

  • showSuccess (msg, options) - shows a success message using the toaster with the specified options

  • confirmDialog (title, text, options) - shows a confirm-dialog with the specified title, text and options and returns a promise. If the user clicks yes, the promise will be resolved, if s/he clicks on no, the promise will be rejected.

  • eventBus - accessor to global event bus object, that allows broadcasting and getting events in all components

  • $store - accessor to app vuex-store


  • maps - the page where the user can search places, routes and create isochrones.

Configuration, theming, customization and extension

The map client app can be configured, customized and extended. Several aspects can be defined/changed in order to disable features, customize visual identity and change/extend its features/behaviors. It is also possible to add custom plug-ins to the app and subscribe to hooks, listen and emit events. The items of the menu can also be customized via hooks.

It is possible to define your custom settings and plug-ins and keep getting updates from the ORS repository because the src/plugins and src/config folders are not versioned. To keep the original ors-map-client as a secondary repository, do the following:

# Rename the original remote
git remote rename origin ors-map-client-origin

# Add your remote as the origin one
git remote add origin <git-repo-url>

# Set your new origin as the default upstream
git branch --set-upstream-to=origin/master

After doing this we recommend you to remove from .gitignore the lines that tell git to ignore the folders /src/config, src/plugins and eventually /static. Then, run the initial push to the just defined new origin repository, with the following command:

git push -u origin master

The ways to change/extend the app are:

  1. Define custom settings (see files in src/config) that will change the standard way that the app works.
  2. Add hook listeners in src/config/hooks.js and run custom code inside those hooks
  3. Create a plug-in that has its methods linked to hooks called during the app flow (see src/plugins/example-plugin/)


It is possible to configure/disable some app features and behaviors by changing the values of the src/config/app-config.js. It is also possible to change the app theme/colors by changing the values of src/config/theme.js. The app logo can also be changed in the src/config/app-config file. The available filters/options to be used in the services are defined in the src/config/ors-map-filters.js. They can be adjusted according the needs. Other files can be used to adjust app configurations are the layer-zoom-mapping.js, settings-options.js and the default-map-settings.js.


It is possible to add plug-ins to the application in order to change its behavior or extend it. Please check the src/plugins folder, the plug-ins readme and the plugin example for more details.

Add language

- Generate a translation file

If you just want to translate the application strings for a certain language, but you don't have the skills to "code" it into the app, just download the en-translation-source-merged.json, translate it, and contact us.

*Check the file src/i18n/i18n-builder.js to see how to generate merged translation sources

- Add a language to the app

The app uses a feature-by-folder design, so each component might have its own translation strings. That is why there is no single translation file. If you want to add a translation and "implement" it into the app, follow the steps below.

  • Create a copy of the /src/i18n/translations/en-us folder giving it the identification of the target language. For example: if you are adding the French from France, then the folder should be called fr-fr.

  • Edit the builder.js file inside the just created folder in order to replace the language pattern to the one you are creating. For example, similar to /\.i18n\.en-us\.js$ add /\.i18n\.fr-fr\.js$.

  • Translate the language strings for each key in the global.js file

  • Search for each file inside the /src folder that ends with i18n.en-us.js and create a copy of it and each one so that each new created file now ends with i18n.fr-fr.js. If you are using a linux/unix compatible terminal, you can do that by running:

    find . -name "*i18n.en-us.js" -exec bash -c 'cp "$0" "${0/i18n.en-us.js/i18n.fr-fr.js}"' {} \; 
    # where the last occurrence of locale id (in this case `fr-fr`) is the one you are creating
  • Translate the language strings for each key in all the files created in the previous step.

  • Edit /src/config/settings-options.js and add the new locale object to the appLocales array (e.g. { text: 'Français FR', value: 'fr-fr' }).

  • Open the src/i18n/i18n-builder.js file and apply the following changes:

    • Import the object from the new language builder that you just created (e.g. import frFRTranslations from './translations/fr-fr/builder')

    • Inside the build method, add:

      • the new language placeholder object to the messages object (e.g. , 'fr-fr': {}).

      • the result of the new language building to the previously created message object (e.g. i18n.messages['fr-fr'] = frFRTranslations.build().

    • Save all the files changed and rebuild the application.

The menu displayed in the header and in the sidebar (low resolution and mobile devices) is loaded from the ORS website back-end and adjusted to be shown according the resolution.

The menu items are fetched on the app load (src/app-loader.js). It dispatches the store fetchMainMenu and @/common/main-menu.js retrieves the menu that uses @/support/menu-manager.js and @/support/model-service.js. Once the items from the back-end are loaded, MenuManager adds or removes custom items and defines icons for sidebar items. The items displayed on the menu can be changed by running custom code on the loadMenuItems and/or the modifyMenu hooks. Check the /src/config-example/hooks-example.js to see more details.


If you are using WebStorm you should set the webpack config (settings -> Languages & Frameworks -> JavaScript -> Webpack) to {path to ors-map-client}/build/webpack.base.conf.js to resolve file paths correctly.

To debug the application you must run it in dev mode. For better debugging in your browser install the VueJS devtools extension. After doing that, open the application in the browser and press F12 and select the tab Console, Vue or Sources (and then expand e.g.: webpack://src).

Build and deploy

The app must be built before it is deployed. To do so, run:

cd <project-root-folder>/
npm run build

Important: to run the built application you have to set up a web server and put this repository (after the build) there. The index.html at the root of this repository will load the app.

For a detailed explanation on how webpack works, check out the guide and docs for vue-loader.


The application includes automated tests. They are stored in tests folder. More info can be checked on the tests readme


Commits and versioning

  • This app uses the commitizen plugin to generate standardized commit types/messages. After applying any change in a feature branch, use git add . and then npm run commit (instead of git commit ...)
  • The plugin standard-version is used to generate changelog entries, version tag and to bump the app version in package.json.

Deployment flow:

  • Apply the changes in a feature branch and test it locally
  • Once the feature is ready, merge it to develop, deploy it to the testing environment
  • Checkout in master, merge from develop and use npm run release to generate a release. This will generate a new release commit as well as a git tag and an entry in CHANGELOG.md.

For more details about commitizen and standard-version see this article

Branch policy

The develop branch is used as the working branch. Anything new feature goes to develop and then it is tested, committed and finally merged into master. So, develop has always the latest version (latest but not necessarily the production one) while master has the production version. Considering this, any merge request must be done targeting develop. If you want to work on a feature we recommend you to create a feature branch and then, when it is finished, send a merge request to develop.

Like almost every team, we have limited workforce, and we have to define priorities.

Bugs: If you think you have identified any bug and that you can help to fix it, please create an issue first, instead of directly submitting a push request. So the people involved will have the opportunity to discuss it.

New features:

If you want to contribute by adding a new feature or improve an existing one, please also create an issue. We do want contributions, and the community effort is very important to us, but features may add complexity and future maintenance effort. Because of this, we have also to analyze the trade off of such contributions. We just have to decide about them together before the hands on. This approach is intended to create cohesion and keep the project sustainable.

Current needs

As you may notice, this project is an ongoing project and thus, there is a lot of room for improvement. Some are listed below (ordered by priority):

So, if you can contribute with it, please let us know.

  • Rendering performance - we are continuously looking for performance improvement. If you think you can suggest a better way to deal with the rendering phase in a way that it improves the speed, please tell us. We are relying on Vue2leaflet for this.
  • Accessibility of the app for people with special needs
  • User test to check that the app works in multiple browsers, resolutions and devices (versions of Mac, Windows, Linux, Android and Iphone) and their multiple possible browsers

Ors Map Client

Openrouteservice API web SPA client using VueJS, Vuetify and Vue2Leaflet

Ors Map Client Info

⭐ Stars 44
🔗 Source Code github.com
🕒 Last Update 7 months ago
🕒 Created 2 years ago
🐞 Open Issues 13
➗ Star-Issue Ratio 3
😎 Author GIScience