For my web mapping app, I am using GeoServer as server, PostGIS as spatial DB and OpenLayers on client side (as well as other JS libraries). The map is composed of base maps and vector layers. One of these vector layers is the "Public institutions" layer. For each category of institutions (Ministries, Tribunals...) there are persons (I called them "contributors") responsible for editing data (Tel, fax, location on map...) about these institutions. The contributors are managed by an admin who specify the privileges of each one of them. Some modifications of the contributors need to be validated by the admin (for example deleting an institution)...

So I thought maybe using a CMS would help. What do you think?

There are some CMS like Drupal that integrates OpenLayers, but it seems the project is still in development link to project page. Any alternative or experience to share?

7 Answers 7


I think you should glance at Cartaro - Geospatial CMS which consists of all the tech. you use... I haven't used it but it looks like it was developed for gisCMS.

The main features of Cartaro are: (from its site)

    Spatial data storage with true geometry data types
    Creation of data types from within the Drupal GUI
    Integrated online editing of geospatial data
    Data publishing with integrated maps
    Configuration of map layouts and behaviors
    Symbol styling
    Data publishing through OGC standards-compliant web services (OWS) like WMS and WFS
    High performance map output through GeoWebCache
    Transparent privilege handling and security for all spatial data
    Basic metadata collection through access to GeoServer-GUI
    Full extensibility through thousands of Drupal modules or individual programming

I hope it helps you...


I have been looking at using Drupal as a framework to base a spatial-CMS on. At this stage I am still in the early days of evaluating the pros & cons of using it.I have not seen any examples of people doing this, but it should be achievable.

A big pro on using an existing CMS like Drupal, is that your relying on a well respected and trusted framework to do the CMS stuff.

However, doing things like Layer Level Security (to specify privileges to each of your contributor groups on which layers they can see/edit) will be something that I imagine you will need to build on top of Drupal.

You could have multiple OpenLayers sites, and depending on which contributor role logs in - they get directed to the relevant site, with the relevant layers served up from PostGIS.

Another approach would be to have a new table in the DB which lists which Layers each Contributor Role can see/edit, and this is managed within the Drupal Admin console. When a contributor logs in, it uses this table as a look-up, to define which layers OpenLayers should load up.

Your stack is all OpenSource - so I will leave it for someone else to provide a more experienced opinion on OpenSource geoportals.

Esri released their Geoportal Server as Open Source, and this can be downloaded from sourceforge. However, I have not seen any examples on integrating it with OpenLayers or PostGIS, and I imagine it still has a fairly large emphasis on Esri technology. Perhaps raise a similar Q in their forum?

Somewhat related (for others who may come across this thread) is Esri's ArcGIS for Portal, which can be somewhat seen as a Spatial-CMS, and does support pulling in WMS, but is more targeted at an Esri shop.

Hope some of that helps.


I was formerly one of the lead developers of the OpenLayers module for Drupal. Don't believe the beta flag; it has four years of development and 5,000 active installs. Software versioning is to indicate compatibility and feature level, not stability, and those who stick "version 20 extra-stable" on their things are just lying to you. All software has bugs and is actively developed.

That said, the module isn't all that great because OpenLayers isn't very good.

You need a CMS if the people who are contributing need to log in. This is a pretty big undertaking and often it's for naught; see if you can cut this feature.

  • 2
    Ok. So the module is stable but you don't recommend it because of OpenLayers. Why ? I've done pretty much things with this JS library until now.. Contributors need to log in indeed. What do u mean by "This is a pretty big undertaking and often it's for naught; see if you can cut this feature". Excuse my english, It's not my native language nor the second..and Google Translation was useless :)
    – YossBen
    Apr 24, 2012 at 15:14
  • Since you were one of the developers of open layers drupal module (big respect for that), what do u think of @Simon 's post: "However, doing things like Layer Level Security (to specify privileges to each of your contributor groups on which layers they can see/edit) will be something that I imagine you will need to build on top of Drupal"?
    – YossBen
    Apr 24, 2012 at 15:31
  • 1
    OpenLayers is overkill for most tasks, and I don't think that Drupal's model of turning programming tasks into GUI-wrangling tasks is viable. For this kind of thing, unless you have thousands and thousands of points, use PHP to build a custom app which outputs GeoJSON, and use Leaflet to bring that in and show it on a map.
    – tmcw
    Apr 24, 2012 at 19:20

Wikipedia does (of course) have an article on what it calls a "GeoSpatial Content Management System". It lists a number of GeoCMS's that may be suitable for what you want to do:


Specifically they're:

  • Django (specifically GeoDjango)
  • Drupal
  • Midgard CMS
  • Plone
  • Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware
  • WordPress
  • Zikula

It's not a 100% authoritative list, but its a good starting point for options. GeoDjango is a popular one but it depends what you're most comfortable with and best fits your specs.


I'm not sure MangoMap is what you are looking for or not, to me I think you can make a map with mangomap and publish it to www and you can embed the map to your personal site without worry about geoserver, postgis and openlayers. What you need to do to update content of your map is just go to mangomap admin page and update your map/data and republish it everything is done.


Try Silverstripe. An admin module for setting up Openlayers & WMS/WFS data sources works well. Example at: http://www.os2020.org.nz/project-map/

The map & all layers are configured in the CMS


What you want is a geospatial content management system. Take a look at the following and choose the one with technologies you are comfortable with: Geonode, Cataro, or Geodjango.

Additionally you could make use of: Sahana or Ushahidi. Although, these last two are more geared toward disaster management, they can still do the job. They have over a decade of testing experience.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.