A CKAN extension to add an scale-aware map-centred search
by bopen

CKAN Mapsearch extension


Mapsearch is a CKAN-extension to add a scale-aware, map-centered search to the CKAN spatial extension (ckanext-spatial).

Full screenshot


Its main distinguishing factor is the scale-awareness of the search-engine.

This scale-awareness lets you see how many results there are on 5 different scales for the same geographic area of interest, by using an extra area field during indexing. see this paragraph below.

screenshot scales


see a working demo on bopen.eu.


ckanext-mapsearch is installed like any ckan extension. However, as it depends on ckanext-spatial to be installed, make sure mapsearch comes after ckanext-spatial in the plugin list (see below).

It also requires solr >= 3.1, as per http://docs.ckan.org/projects/ckanext-spatial/en/latest/spatial-search.html#choosing-a-backend-for-the-spatial-search.

1. install the extension with pip

pip install -e  git+https://github.com/bopen/ckanext-mapsearch.git#egg=ckanext-mapsearch

2. add the extension as a plugin

add the plugin to the plugins-line in your configuration .ini file.

NB. It must be included with, but after spatial_query

ckan.plugins = stats text_preview resource_proxy recline_preview spatial_metadata spatial_query harvest csw_harvester ckan_harvester mapsearch

3. configure the extension

  • set the initial mapextent

    add a line to your ini-file specifying the initial map extent ([bottom-left, upper-right]). To show Europe area on loadpage add the following line:

ckanext.mapsearch.initial_map_extent = [[30.4806, -12.9449], [72.9295, 40.7210]]
  • make sure the spatial extension uses solr-spatial field as the backend.

    NB.: the search-backend of the spatial extension must be set to ‘solr-spatial-field’, as with simple ‘solr’ the extension will work poorly and with ‘postgis’ it will not work at all!

ckanext.spatial.search_backend = solr-spatial-field

4. prepare the schema for the extension

the extension needs an extra field in the solr index, add the following line to the schema.xml file in the ‘<fields>’ section.

    <!-- ... -->
    <field name="spatial_area" type="float" indexed="true" stored="true" />

5. restart solr


there are few basic selenium webdriver tests in tests folder.


  • You will need full working instance with a minimum of data to run the tests.
  • The tests assume you have an instance running on ‘http://localhost:5000/mapsearch’. However, you can override this by setting the environment variable MAPSEARCH_INSTANCE_URL appropriately.
export MAPSEARCH_INSTANCE_URL="http://ckan.bopen.eu/mapsearch"


This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU Affero General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU Affero General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.


The development of this software, up to version 0.1.2, has been partially funded by Filas <http://www.filas.eu>_ under POR FESR Lazio 2007-2013 <http://porfesr.lazio.it>_.

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