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source: trunk/workshop-routing-foss4g/chapters/geoext_client.rst @ 63

Revision 63, 14.5 KB checked in by djay, 12 years ago (diff)

Initial import of pgROuting workshop for translation. Section 1 to 3 translated, pleae review.

GeoExt Browser Client

GeoExt is a JavaScript Toolkit for Rich Web Mapping Applications. GeoExt brings together the geospatial know how of OpenLayers with the user interface savvy of Ext JS to help you build powerful desktop style GIS apps on the web with JavaScript.

Let's start with a simple GeoExt example and extend it with routing functionality then:

System Message: ERROR/3 (<string>, line 12)

Unknown directive type "literalinclude".

.. literalinclude:: ../../web/routing-0.html
        :language: html

In the header we include all the javascript and css needed for the application, we also define a function to be run when the page is loaded (Ext.onReady).

This function creates a GeoExt.MapPanel with an OpenStreetMap layer centered to Denver. In this code, no OpenLayers.Map is explicitly created; the GeoExt.MapPanel do this under the hood: it takes the map options, the center and the zoom and create a map instance accordingly.

To allow our users to get directions, we need to provide:
  • a way to select the routing algorithm (Shortest path Dijkstra, A* or Shooting*),
  • a way to select the start and final destination.


This chapter only show code snippets, the full source code of the page can be found in pgrouting-workshop/web/routing-final.html that should be on your desktop. The full listing can also be found at the end of this chapter.

Routing method selection

To select the routing method, we will use an Ext.form.ComboBox: it behaves just like a normal html select but we can more easily control it.

Just like the GeoExt.MapPanel, we need an html element to place our control, let's create a new div in the body (with 'method' as id):

Then we create the combo itself:
var method = new Ext.form.ComboBox({
    renderTo: "method",
    triggerAction: "all",
    editable: false,
    forceSelection: true,
    store: [
        ["SPD", "Shortest Path Dijkstra"],
        ["SPA", "Shortest Path A*"],
        ["SPS", "Shortest Path Shooting*"]

In the store option, we set all the possible values for the routing method; the format is an array of options where an option is in the form [key, name]. The key will be send to the server (the php script in our case) and the value displayed in the combo.

The renderTo specify where the combo must be rendered, we use our new div here.

And finally, a default value is selected:

This part only uses ExtJS component: no OpenLayers or GeoExt code here.

Select the start and final destination

We want to allow the users to draw and move the start and final destination points. This is more or less the behavior of google maps and others: the user selects the points via a search box (address search) or by clicking the map. The system query the server and display the route on the map. The user can later move the start or final point and the route is updated.

In this workshop, we will only implement the input via the map (draw points and drag-and-drop) but it's possible to implement the search box feature by using a web service like GeoNames or any other geocoding service.

To do this we will need a tool to draw points (we will use the OpenLayers.Control.DrawFeatures control) and a tool to move points (OpenLayers.Control.DragFeatures will be perfect for this job). As their name suggests these controls comes from OpenLayers.

These two controls will need a place to draw and manipulate the points; we will also need an OpenLayers.Layer.Vector layer. In OpenLayers, a vector layer in a place where features (a geometry and attributes) can be drawn programmatically (in contrast, the OSM layer is a raster layer).

Because vector layers are cheap, we will use a second one to draw the route returned by the web service. The layers initialization is:

// create the layer where the route will be drawn
var route_layer = new OpenLayers.Layer.Vector("route", {
    styleMap: new OpenLayers.StyleMap(new OpenLayers.Style({
        strokeColor: "#ff9933",
        strokeWidth: 3

"route" is the layer name, any string can be used. styleMap gives the layer a bit of visual style with a custom stroke color and width (in pixel).

The second layer initialization is simply:

// create the layer where the start and final points will be drawn
var points_layer = new OpenLayers.Layer.Vector("points");

The two layers are added to the OpenLayers.Map object with:

// add the layers to the map
map.addLayers([points_layer, route_layer]);

Let's look at the control to draw the points: because this component has special behavior it's more easy to create a new class based on the standard OpenLayers.Control.DrawFeatures control. This new control (named DrawPoints) is saved in a separated javascript file (web/DrawPoints.js):

System Message: ERROR/3 (<string>, line 144)

Unknown directive type "literalinclude".

.. literalinclude:: ../../web/DrawPoints.js
        :language: js

In the initialize function (that's the class constructor) we set that this control can only draw points (handler variable is OpenLayers.Handler.Point).

The special behavior is implemented in the drawFeature function: because we only need the start and final points the control deactivates itself when two points are drawn by counting how many features has the vector layer. Control deactivation is this.deactivate().

Our control is then created with:

// create the control to draw the points (see the DrawPoints.js file)
var draw_points = new DrawPoints(points_layer);

points_layer is the vector layer created earlier.

And now for the DragFeature control:

// create the control to move the points
var drag_points = new OpenLayers.Control.DragFeature(points_layer, {
    autoActivate: true

Again, points_layer is the vector layer, autoActivate: true tells OpenLayers that we want this control to be automatically activated.

// add the controls to the map
map.addControls([draw_points, drag_points]);

Adds the controls to the map.

Call and receive data from web service

The basic workflow to get a route from the web server is:

  1. transform our points coordinates from EPSG:900913 to EPSG:4326
  2. call the web service with the correct arguments (method name and two points coordinates)
  3. parse the web service response: transform GeoJSON to OpenLayers.Feature.Vector
  4. transform all the coordinates from EPSG:4326 to EPSG:900913
  5. add this result to a vector layer

The first item is something new: our map uses the EPSG:900913 projection (because we use an OSM layer) but the web service expects coordinates in EPSG:4326: we have to re-project the data before sending them. This is not a big deal: we will simply use the Proj4js javascript library.

(The second item call the web service is covered in the next chapter.)

The routing web service in pgrouting.php returns a GeoJSON FeatureCollection object. A FeatureCollection is simply an array of features: one feature for each route segment. This is very convenient because OpenLayers and GeoExt have all what we need to handle this format. To make our live even easier, we are going to use the

var store = new{
    layer: route_layer,
    fields: [
        {name: "length"}
    proxy: new{
        protocol: new OpenLayers.Protocol.HTTP({
            url: './php/pgrouting.php',
            format: new OpenLayers.Format.GeoJSON({
                internalProjection: epsg_900913,
                externalProjection: epsg_4326

A store is simply a container to store informations: we can push data into and get it back.

Let's explain all the options:

layer: the argument is a vector layer: by specifying a layer, the FeatureStore will automatically draw the data received into this layer. This is exactly what we need for the last item (add this result to a vector layer) in the list above.

fields: lists all the attributes returned along with the geometry: pgrouting.php returns the segment length so we set it here. Note that this information is not used in this workshop.

proxy: the proxy item specify where the data should be taken: in our case from a HTTP server. The proxy type is this class connects the ExtJS world (the store) and the OpenLayers world (the protocol object).

protocol: this OpenLayers component is able to make HTTP requests to an url (our php script) and to parse the response (format option). By adding the internalProjection and externalProjection option, the coordinates re-projection in made by the format.

We now have all what we need to handle the data returned by the web service: the next chapter will explain how and when to call the service.

Trigger the web service call

We need to call the web service when:
  • the two points are drawn
  • one of the point is moved
  • the routing method has changed

Our vector layer generates an event (called featureadded) when a new feature is added, we can listen to this event and call to pgrouting function (this function will be presented shortly):{
    featureadded: function() {
        pgrouting(store, draw_layer, method.getValue());


Before we continue some words about events: an event in OpenLayers (the same apply for ExtJS and other frameworks), is a system to allow a function to be called when something happened. For instance when a layer is added to the map or when the mouse is over a feature. Multiple functions can be connected to the same event.

No event is generated when a point is moved, hopefully we can give a function to the DragFeature control to be called we the point is moved:

drag_points.onComplete = function() {
    pgrouting(store, draw_layer, method.getValue());

For the method combo, we can add a listeners options to the constructor with a select argument (that's the event triggered when the user changes the value):

var method = new Ext.form.ComboBox({
    renderTo: "method",
    triggerAction: "all",
    editable: false,
    forceSelection: true,
    store: [
        ["SPD", "Shortest Path Dijkstra"],
        ["SPA", "Shortest Path A*"],
        ["SPS", "Shortest Path Shooting*"]
    listeners: {
        select: function() {
            pgrouting(store, draw_layer, method.getValue());

It's now time to present the pgrouting function:

// global projection objects (uses the proj4js lib)
var epsg_4326 = new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:4326"),
    epsg_900913 = new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:900913");
function pgrouting(store, layer, method) {
      if (layer.features.length == 2) {
          // erase the previous route
          // transform the two geometries from EPSG:900913 to EPSG:4326
          var startpoint = layer.features[0].geometry.clone();
          startpoint.transform(epsg_900913, epsg_4326);
          var finalpoint = layer.features[1].geometry.clone();
          finalpoint.transform(epsg_900913, epsg_4326);
          // load to route
              params: {
                  startpoint: startpoint.x + " " + startpoint.y,
                  finalpoint: finalpoint.x + " " + finalpoint.y,
                  method: method

The pgrouting function calls the web service through the store argument.

At first, the function checks if two points are passed in argument. Then, store.removeAll() is called to erase a previous result from the layer (remember that the store and the vector layer are binded). The two points coordinates are then projected using OpenLayers.Projection instances.

Finally, store.load() is called with a params representing the pgrouting.php arguments (they are passed to the HTTP GET call).

What's next ?

Possible enhancements:
  • use a geocoding service to get start/final point
  • way point support
  • nice icons for the start and final points
  • driving directions (road map): we already have the segment length

Full source code

System Message: ERROR/3 (<string>, line 367)

Unknown directive type "literalinclude".

.. literalinclude:: ../../web/routing-final.html
        :language: html
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