5 Leaflet plugins to spice up your map

The beauty¬†of open source software is that developers can add to existing code to make life easier for other developers. Leaflet allows users to develop neat additions to your web map called ‘plugins’. The very best plugins are showcased on the Leaflet website. Over time though, even this list has gotten large (which is a good thing). Today we will look at the five most useful plugins that you might want to add to your Leaflet web map.

1. Draw

This plugin made by Jacob Toye allows you to draw all kinds of shapes on your map. Useful for sketching out custom features such as paths, areas and boundaries.

2. Providers

As the name suggests, you can add map tiles from various providers with this plugin without much of a hassle. You can add map tiles from providers such as ESRI, HERE (Nokia) and MapBox with ease with this plugin.

3. Search

When you have tons of uniquely named markers on your map, finding the right marker can be a bother. This nifty plugin by Stefano Cudini adds a search box for your markers, so your markers don’t get lost in the crowd.

4. Marker Clustering

This plugin by Dave Leaver groups nearby markers into neat, colour-coded clusters. This plugin is by far one my most favourites and one that I just love to use solely because it is simple, highly functional and makes your map look beautiful. I could not recommend this plugin highly enough.

5. Routing

This plugin by the Norwegian Trekking Association is especially useful when you are using the OSM road network and want to provide shortest routes and directions on your map.

These were five highly useful Leaflet plugins you can use to add more functionality to your map. If you have your own plugins that you would like to highlight or have your own list of useful plugins, please do mention them in your comment!

Introducing Plorable! An app that gives you a gastronomic view of the world.

Ever wonder if there are Chinese restaurants in down town Tokyo? Indian eateries in Azerbaijan? Nightclubs in the orthodox pockets of erstwhile Afghanistan? I sure did, and that led me to build my first published app, titled ‘Plorable‘. Plorable is a small app that I put together overnight which is a mashup of a Leaflet web map, foursquare venues and OpenStreetMap’s Nominatim engine- all of which work together to create an experience which lets you explore the culinary delights and nightlife around the world.

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Istanbul through the lens of Plorable

Plorable gives you a beautiful map of the world, courtesy of MapBox, that you can explore. Zoom in and click on any town, city or village in any part of the world and it will show you nearby restaurants, pubs and discs as markers. Click on a marker and you get information about the place and the popularity of the place amongst the people.

Zooming in and clicking on a locality in Istanbul shows a cluster of markers. Clicking on a marker reveals details about the place.
Zooming in and clicking on a locality in Istanbul shows a cluster of markers. Clicking on a marker reveals details about the place.

The Nominatim geocode engine zooms into any address around the world, so you can finally go to that place you always heard about but never been to.

Searching for 10 Downging Street shows you the famous address on the map.
Searching for 10 Downing Street takes you to London and shows you the famous address on the map.

You can check out the app here. Happy exploring!