by melowntech

melowntech /vts-browser-js

JavaScript WebGL 3D map rendering engine

134 Stars 27 Forks Last release: about 1 month ago (v2.23.6) BSD 2-Clause "Simplified" License 1.1K Commits 93 Releases

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VTS Browser JS

VTS Browser JS is a powerful JavaScript 3D map rendering engine with a very small footprint (about 163 kB of gziped JS code). It provides almost all features for web-based 3D mapping you will ever want.

VTS Browser JS is independently usable part of VTS 3D Geospatial Software Stack: a state-of-the-art, full-stack open source platform for 3D geospatial application development.

With VTS Browser JS you may combine and render diverse geospatial data in a single online map, style and display various types of geodata, render textured polygonal meshes or OBJ models, or even render topographic labels in almost any international writing system.

VTS Browser JS showcase


  • [x] part of a comprehensive open-source 3D geospatial software Stack
  • [x] supports all modern web browsers
  • [x] photorealistic rendering
  • [x] geocoding API support
  • [x] tiled, hierarchical data model
  • [x] optimized for web-based rendering
  • [x] supports any coordinate system
  • [x] multiple surfaces
  • [x] multiple bound layers on each surface
  • [x] vector layers (geodata)
  • [x] geodata styling and geodata interaction
  • [x] dynamic surfaces and layer switching
  • [x] international writing systems (e.g. Arabic, Devangaric, Chinese, Japanese, ...)
  • [x] extensive, yet simple API (including UI extensions)
  • [x] custom meshes, lines, polygons, icons, OBJ models, etc
  • [x] rendering and styling of GeoJSON files
  • [x] very small footprint (163KB minified and gzipped)
  • [x] large set of ready-to-use data
  • [x] open-source under BSD-2 license

Comparison to CesiumJS library

The open-source CesiumJS is an excellent JavaScript 3D mapping library which is widely used and frequently compared to VTS Browser JS. The following table might help you to identify the application scenarios where VTS Browser JS may be an alternative, or simply a straightforward software platform of choice for your project.

| Feature | VTS Browser JS | CesiumJS | | --- | --- | --- | | Different coordinate systems support | yes | limited | | Dynamic tiled surfaces mixing (including glues) | yes | no | | Multiple surfaces and multiple bound layers support (including transparent layers) | yes | no | | Bound layers with optimized masks | yes | no | | Out-of-the-box OSM data support with custom styling | yes | limited | | Open-source backend components | yes | no | | Backend data-fusion capabilities | yes | no | | Support for international writing systems | yes | limited | | Compact-size library (gzipped and minified) | 221 KB | 577 KB + Workers |

Live Demos

These are some of the applications built with VTS browser JS:


First steps

  1. Include The VTS browser JS library

  2. Declare map containing element (with id

  3. Initiate vts browser (with example map configuration)


Wonder where to find

file? See Map Configuration section.

Next steps

You can run many examples in JSFiddle.

Get the library

There is several ways how to bundle The VTS Browser JS Library into your project.


The easiest way to link The VTS Browser JS Library is to use the latest build (or specific version) from Melown Technologies CDN.


In case you do not want to build libray yourself or use our CDN, there is a link where you can find latest compiled libraries with demo examples.

NPM repository

Vts-browser-js library is in npm js repository. To add it as dependecy to your project just add it as any npm package

npm install -S vts-browser-js

Build from code

If you prefer, you may build The VTS Browser JS Library from source code.

Build system

The build system uses webpack module bundler. Typical development cycle starts with

npm install
for installation of dependenices. Then you usually run
and build with


Download and install all dependencies to local


NOTE: For some dependencies, you need

available in your system.
npm install

or more advanced (if you are using new versions of NodeJS and Yarn)

yarn install

Run dev server

The development server is serving local files at http://localhost:8080.


And go to http://localhost:8080/demos/



The unzipped file (along with source map and CSS) is stored in

directory. You may now start the dev server (see lower) and open browser at http://localhost:8080 to see some demos in the

Build compressed version

The compressed version - it's intended to be used in in production env. You can include in the

 tags (along with CSS) there.

Compressed version is build in the

NODE_ENV=production node_modules/.bin/webpack


There is also

available in the project directory. Referer
make help
to specific make targets. The Makefile is just wrapper around
npm run
commands (which are wrappers around webpack configuration).

Map Configuration

Map configuration contains a all information The VTS Browser JS library needs to display given map/model. Library is usually initialize with URL to mapConfig.json file which is JSON representation of Map configuration data.

The question is, where you can get your own Map Configuration. Basically you have two options:

Melown Cloud

Melown Cloud is point-and-click interface to a subset of VTS technology, operated by Melown Tecchnologies. Conveniently, Melown Cloud may be also used as a source of custom map configurations for VTS browser JS application development.

VTS 3D Geospatial Software stack

VTS Browser JS forms part of the VTS 3D Geospatial Software Stack. Running the full stack gives you complete control over your map resources, provides you with powerful data fusion capabilities and allows for closed networks or other types of off-grid deployment.


VTS Browser JavaScript API documentation is available in our wiki:


See the

file for VTS Browser JS license, run
and check the
file for 3rd party licenses.

How to contribute

Check out the CONTRIBUTING.md file.

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