Actions and Services

GeoMoose 3+ supports two different types of tools in the toolbar. In general the two can be described as follows:

  • services are tools which query a set of layers and process the data.

  • actions do not use the data-query life-cycle and are mostly arbitrary bits of JavaScript that can be executed.


Actions do one thing, they execute the code in the run method when clicked from the toolbar.

Example custom action


function AlertAction(Application, config) { = function() {

The application’s index.html would then need to include alert.js:

<script type="text/javascript" src="alert.js"></script>

And the new action would then need to be registered with the application in the app.js file:

app.registerAction('say-hello', AlertAction, {message: 'Hello, World'});

Finally, the action needs to be linked to a tool in the toolbar. In mapbook.xml, in the <toolbar> section, the following would be added:

<tool type="action" name="say-hello" title="Say Hello"/>

When the application is reloaded, a new toolbar button will appear with the text “Say Hello,” clicking on it will cause the action to execute the code in – alerting the contents of config.message which was set to 'Hello, World'.


Services are more complex. A service is used to collect information from the user and the map then use that information to generate a query. After the query has executed, the results are then rendered into HTML.

Unlike an action, services require defining more members for them to function properly:

  • title - A title is required for rendering results in the Super tab. This title is placed at the top of the tab and is useful for recognizing what the service is attempting to render.

  • tools - This is an object that defines which types of drawing tools are available. Options available:

    • Point: true - Allow the user to draw a single point for the query.

    • MultiPoint: true - Allow the user to draw multiple points for the query.

    • LineString: true - Allow the user to draw a line for the query.

    • Polygon: true - Allow the user to draw a polygon for the query.

    • Select: true - Let the user choose features from a different layer.

    • Modify: true - Allow the user to modify their previous selections.

    • buffer: true - Allow the user to buffer their drawn shapes.

    • default: [Point|MultiPoint|Polygon|LineString] - Specify the drawing tool that should be selected by default.

  • fields - This is a list of objects that defines the user input fields. See:doc:input-types for the types of input which are available.

The title, tools, and fields definitions will be used to render a set of user inputs when the service is clicked in the toolbar.

Services also have different methods which handle different phases of the query cycle:

  • query(selection, fields) - The selection parameter describes the geographic selection made by the user. The field parameter is a list of field names and values which were derived from the fields object. The query method’s job is to modify and normalize any inputs before submitting them to Application.dispatchQuery. Application.dispatchQuery will start the next step in the service’s life-cycle, either running the service’s runQuery method or using the built-in querying mechanisms for the specified layer(s).

  • resultsAsHtml(queryId, query) - Returns HTML to render in the Super tab.

Writing a custom query

The default behavior for a service is to query the chosen layer(s) for features. For example, if a layer is on a WFS-type map-source, GeoMoose will dispatch a WFS GetFeatures query with the appropriate filters to get the relevant features back to the user. However, there are time where this functionality is not desired. The example included in GeoMoose’s example desktop application is geocoding. When running a geocode query the user will not query the underlying layers but call a different script which will return features. This requires defining a different runQuery method. E.G.:

function MyCustomService(Application, config) {
  runQuery(queryId, query) {
    // Do some stuff...

See src/services/geocode-osm.js for more details.