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    1.0.4 • Public • Published

    OpenLayers Elevation Parser

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    Tiny module to retrieve and parse data to create elevation profiles and/or volume calculations from raster sources. This wiil sample a provided geometries and then parse the elevation data from differents Open Layers sources (TileWMS, TileImage, XYZ), using raster grayscale (float) or rgb (Terrarium, Mapbox or custom processings) elevation models as source.

    Tested with OpenLayers version 6 and 7.

    How it works

    ol-elevation-parser supports calculations from Points, LineStrings and Polygons. Each of these geometries is processed diferently:

    • Points: in this case, there is no further processing, the coordinates of each point are consulted according to the configured method (see calculateZMethod) and the same supplied coordinates are returned with the z value embedded.
    • LineStrings: here it's necessary to resample the geometry to assemble the profile, and make requests only of those sampled points. The greater the number of samples (see samples), the longer it will take, but the better the quality of the profile will be. In the the sampling, the length of that line is divided into x number of parts to obtain the coordinates of each of the extremes. Then, the vertices of the geometry are also added to those sampled coordinates.
    • Polygons: two different samples are made:
      • on the one hand, the contour of the polygon, to which the same procedure as the LineStrings is applied. This contour is useful to obtain the base level that borders the area, which allows the volume of the polygon to be calculated later.
      • on the other hand, the area. To calculate this, a sampling is done in the form of a grid (see sampleSizeArea, from which an interior point is obtained. Each of those points is requested. The greater the number of samples, the longer it will take, but the greater the accuracy of the calculation.


    import ElevationParser from 'ol-elevation-parser';
    import TileWMS from 'ol/source/TileWMS';
    import LineString from 'ol/geom/LineString';
    import Feature from 'ol/Feature';
    var elevationLayer = new TileWMS({
        url: 'http://localhost:8080/geoserver/dipsohdev/ows',
        serverType: 'geoserver',
        crossOrigin: null,
        interpolate: false,
        params: {
            SERVICE: 'wms',
            LAYERS: 'mdeIgnRgb'
    var options = {
        source: elevationLayer,
        calculateZMethod: 'getFeatureInfo',
        samples: 50, // For LineStrings and Polygons contour
        sampleSizeArea: 'auto', // For Polygons area
        noDataValue: -10000
    var elevationParser = new ElevationParser(options);
    // Add control the the Open Layers map instance
    var lineStringFeature = new Feature(new LineString(/*...*/));
    const data = await elevationParser.getElevationValues(feature);


    See CHANGELOG for details of changes in each release.


    Parcel, Webpack, etc.

    NPM package: ol-elevation-parser.

    Install the package via npm

    npm install ol-elevation-parser


    import ElevationParser from 'ol-elevation-parser';
    TypeScript type definition

    TypeScript types are shipped with the project in the dist directory and should be automatically used in a TypeScript project. Interfaces are provided for the Options.


    Table of Contents


    Extends ol/control/Control~Control



    • feature Feature<(LineString | Point | Polygon)>

    Returns Promise<IGetElevationValues>


    • source any

    Returns void


    Returns any


    • samples any

    Returns void


    • sampleSizeArea any

    Returns void


    • calculateZMethod any

    Returns void


    • noDataValue any

    Returns void


    Extends IElevationCoords


    Sampled Polygons

    Type: Array<Feature<Polygon>>



    Sampled coordinates from LineStrings, Point coordinates, or sampled coordinates from Polygons, obtained by subdividing the area in multiples squares and getting each center point.

    Type: Array<Coordinate>


    Contour coordinates from Polygons features.

    Type: Array<Coordinate>


    Extends Omit<ControlOptions, 'target'>


    Source to obtain the elevation values. If not provided, the zGraph would be not displayed. You can provide a custom function to call an API or other methods to obtain the data.

    Type: (TileWMS | TileImage | XYZ | function (originalFeature: Feature<(LineString | Point | Polygon)>, sampledCoords: IElevationCoords): Promise<IElevationCoords>)


    To obtain the elevation values from the diferrents sources, you can:

    • Calculate the zValues from the rgb pixel data (TileImage and XYZ source formats need this):

      • Mapbox preset: (r * 256 * 256 + g * 256 + b) * 0.1 - 10000
      • Terrarium preset: (r * 256 + g + b / 256) - 32768
      • Provided your custom function to calculate elevation from the rgb pixel data
    • Making requests to the geoserver (TileWMS source) getFeatureInfo: make requests to the source url using service getFeatureInfo

    By default:

    • TileWMS format use 'getFeatureInfo' requests to the source_url to obtain the values.
    • TileImage and XYZ formats are calculated from the pixel data using 'Mapbox' preset.

    Type: ("getFeatureInfo" | "Mapbox" | "Terrarium" | function (r: number, g: number, b: number): number)


    To obtain the elevation values on each distance measurement, multiples samples are taken across the line. This number is used as equally percentage steps across the geom, plus all the vertices positions.

    • getFeatureInfo on TileWMS sources will make one request per sample
    • TileImageand XYZ are calculated across each pixel after downloading the required tiles. The bigger the number, the greater the quality of the elevation data, but slower response times and bigger overhead (principally on getFeatureInfo method). This value is used to sample LinesStrings and Polygons contour 50 is the default

    Type: (number | function (length: number): number)


    To obtain the elevation values on a volume measurement, multiples samples are taken across the polygon. The value provided must be in meters. The bigger the number, the greater the quality of the measurement, but slower response times and bigger overhead (principally on getFeatureInfo method). 'auto' is the default

    Type: (number | "auto" | function (area: number): number)


    When calculating the zGraph statistics from the raster dataset, you can choose to ignore specific values with the NoDataValue parameter. These values are considerated as transparency, so probably you want these replaced by 0.

    -10000 is the default false to disable

    Type: (number | false)


    console.log to help debug the code false is the default

    Type: boolean


    • Improve README and documentation
    • Add jest
    • Add check/msg for invalid geometries
    • Add live example


    npm i ol-elevation-parser

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