25 days ago

How can a pure backend solution utilize Leaflet.js in Node.js to generate Map Screenshots?

Is it possible to use leaflet.js in node.js to create a map screenshot with a geoJSON (polygon) on it? The goal is to generate the screenshot as a pure backend solution without any browser involvement, meaning that the map will not be displayed to any users on a browser. I am familiar with leaflet.js, having used it on the frontend side before, and I'm aware that the "SimpleMapScreenshoter" module can capture screenshots, even with the geoJSON elements, on the map. However, I'm uncertain if this can be achieved without the use of a browser. Can anyone confirm if this is possible and provide some working code or an example?

25 days ago
Verified Answer
Yes, it is possible to use leaflet.js in node.js to create a map screenshot with a geoJSON (polygon) on it. You can use the "SimpleMapScreenshoter" module to capture screenshots with geoJSON elements on the map. However, you can also achieve this without the use of a browser. You can use the "node-canvas" module to create a canvas element and then use the "leaflet-image" module to render the map on the canvas element. Here is an example code snippet that shows how you can achieve this:
const L = require('leaflet');
const { createCanvas } = require('canvas');
const leafletImage = require('leaflet-image');

const canvas = createCanvas(800, 600);
const ctx = canvas.getContext('2d');

const map =[51.505, -0.09], 13);

L.tileLayer('https://{s}{z}/{x}/{y}.png', {
  attribution: 'Map data &copy; <a href="">OpenStreetMap</a> contributors',
  maxZoom: 18,

const polygon = L.polygon([
  [51.509, -0.08],
  [51.503, -0.06],
  [51.51, -0.047],


leafletImage(map, (err, canvas) => {
  const buffer = canvas.toBuffer('image/png');
  // Do something with buffer
This code snippet creates a canvas element using the "node-canvas" module and then creates a leaflet map on it using the "leaflet-image" module. It then adds a polygon to the map and fits the map bounds to the polygon bounds. Finally, it uses the "leaflet-image" module to render the map on the canvas element and returns a buffer containing the image data. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.


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25 days ago
Unfortunately, it is not possible to use leaflet.js inside node.js without any involvement of a browser. Leaflet.js is designed to be used in a browser environment to create dynamic and interactive maps. However, if your goal is to create map screenshots with geoJSON data in a backend environment, there are alternative libraries available. One such library is called "node-mapnik". It is a Node.js interface to the Mapnik toolkit, which is a powerful rendering engine for static maps. Here's an example of how you can use node-mapnik to create a map screenshot with geoJSON data:
const mapnik = require('mapnik');
const fs = require('fs');
const path = require('path');

// Define the map's bbox and size
const bbox = [-180, -90, 180, 90];
const size = [800, 600];

// Create a new Mapnik map object
const map = new mapnik.Map(size[0], size[1]);

// Load a Mapnik stylesheet
const stylesheet = path.join(__dirname, 'stylesheet.xml');

// Create a new Mapnik layer and add it to the map
const layer = new mapnik.Layer('My Layer', '+init=epsg:4326');
const datasource = new mapnik.Datasource({
    type: 'geojson',
    inline: JSON.stringify({
        "type": "FeatureCollection",
        "features": [{
            "type": "Feature",
            "geometry": {
                "type": "Polygon",
                "coordinates": [[[-180, -90], [180, -90], [180, 90], [-180, 90], [-180, -90]]]
layer.datasource = datasource;
layer.styles = ['My Style'];

// Zoom the map to the bbox

// Render the map to an image
const image = new mapnik.Image(size[0], size[1]);
map.render(image, function(err, image) {
    if (err) throw err;
    image.encode('png', function(err, buffer) {
        if (err) throw err;
        fs.writeFileSync(path.join(__dirname, 'map.png'), buffer);
In this example, we define the map's bbox and size, and create a new Mapnik map object. We then load a Mapnik stylesheet, create a new Mapnik layer with a geojson datasource, and add it to the map. Finally, we zoom the map to the bbox, render the map to an image, and save the image to disk as a PNG file. Note that this is just a simple example and you will need to modify it to fit your specific use case. You may also need to install additional dependencies such as "mapnik-node-gyp" to be able to use node-mapnik.