Angular is a popular web platform, created and maintained by Google, that allows developers to build applications for the web, mobile, and desktop. It uses well known software patterns such as dependency injection and declarative templates to solve development challenges.
In this tutorial, we are going to build a simple web application from the ground up using Angular and learn how to integrate the CesiumJS npm module. In case you have not used Cesium before, you can check out the Getting Started Tutorial for more information.
The source code of this tutorial can be found in cesium-angular-example repository.
- A basic understanding of command line, TypeScript, and web development.
- A browser that supports WebGL. If in doubt, make sure your browser is Cesium ready.
- An IDE or code editor. Visual Studio Code is nicely integrated with Angular but you can use any editor of your choice.
- Node 6.9.0 or higher, together with NPM 3 or higher.
Create a basic Angular app
In this section, we’ll describe how to set up a basic Angular application. If you’ve already got an app set up and just want to add Cesium, skip to Add Cesium to an Angular app.
Initialize an app with Angular CLI
To create a new Angular application, we are going to use Angular CLI, a tool that simplifies development of Angular applications from the first commit to the final production deployment. Open a console and run the following command to install Angular CLI globally:
Create a new Angular application by running the following command in the console:
This will create a folder
my-app, initialize it as a git repository, and install the necessary package dependencies. Run the following command in the console to compile the application:
Open your browser and navigate to
http://localhost:4200. If you can see the following, then you have built your first Angular application successfully!
Add Cesium to an Angular app
To add Cesium in an Angular application, we first need to install it from npm and add it to our
package.json file as a dependency:
Configure Cesium in Angular
index.html file as explained in the original Getting Started Tutorial. Angular CLI provides a configuration file called
.angular-cli.json that is located at the root directory of the project and is used to configure our Angular application including any third party libraries that we are using. Open
.angular-cli.json and add the CesiumJS file in the
scripts section, the CSS file in the
styles section, and the whole build Cesium folder in the
Display the Viewer
Those who are familiar with Angular should know that an Angular application consists mainly of modules and components. For the sake of simplicity, our application consists of one module and one component only. The component will be used to host the Cesium viewer. There are two ways to add the viewer on the component: we can create a new
component or a
directive (specifically an attribute one). Either way is correct. In this tutorial, we will follow the approach of the directive because it seems more appropriate since the viewer object manipulates the DOM.
Open a console, navigate to the
app directory, and use the following command to create a new directive:
The result of the above command is twofold:
- It creates the file
- It registers the directive with the main application module by adding it to the
The directive will be used to create the Cesium viewer object and initialize it. According to Angular documentation, initialization logic in a directive or component should be placed inside the
ngOnInit function, which is part of the
ElementRef class in the constructor to get a reference to the HTML element that has the directive attached to it and initialize the Cesium viewer with that reference.
At this point, the editor may throw an error, as shown below:
This is because Typescript cannot find types for Cesium. To overcome this, open
typings.d.ts and add
app.component.html file and replace its contents with the following:
Add some styles for the viewer in the
main.ts and define an environment variable that tells Cesium the base URL to load static files from:
ng serve again. You will see the Cesium viewer loaded on the page.
ng5 branch of the
Developer-Plexscape/cesium-angular-example repository contains the source code from this post. Note that the
master branch of the repo points to the latest version of Angular.
For a full blown library integration of Angular and Cesium, see the angular-cesium npm module.
To connect, you can follow me on Twitter.