About Leaflet

An Open-Source JavaScript Library for Mobile-Friendly Interactive Maps

Leaflet, developed by Vladimir Agafonkin and a team of dedicated contributors, is a lightweight yet robust library for interactive maps and is designed with simplicity, performance and usability in mind. It is specifically aimed at being mobile-friendly. It has all the features most developers ever need for online maps. Leaflet can be extended with a very large number of plugins.

Leaflet began life in 2010 as Web Maps API, a JavaScript library for the CloudMade mapping provider. It was built from scratch but used parts of the old API code.

Leaflet works well across all major desktop and mobile platforms and takes advantage of JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 on modern browsers while still being accessible on older browsers. It allows developers without a GIS background to easily display tiled web maps hosted on a public server.

Leaflet has support for tile layers, markers, popups, polygons and more, as well as user interactions such as mouse scroll-wheel zoom on the desktop and multi-touch zoom for iOS, Android 4.0 and later, and Windows Phone 8. It can load feature data from GeoJSON files, style it and create interactive layers. This includes markers with popups when clicked. It supports Web Map Service layers, GeoJSON layers, Vector layers and Tile layers.

Leaflet code can create polygons and interactivity (including mobile touch screens and mouse clicks) on a map. It doesn’t have its own mapping data and a base map layer is needed. While a project tutorial suggests CloudMade since it initially created and open-sourced Leaflet it works with other mapping platforms too. These include MapBox and OpenStreetMap.

Leaflet is comparable to the proprietary, closed source Google Maps API and Bing Maps API.