CARTO VL

This is an old and deprecated version of CARTO VL. You can find more information about the support and the availability of the different CARTO VL versions.

CARTO VL is a JavaScript library to create custom Location Intelligence applications over vector rendering.

Introduction to Interactivity

With CARTO VL users can interact with the map in multiple ways. Thanks to vector technology animations can be created when the user clicks, moves or interacts with the map in multiple ways.

In this guide we will cover the basic aspects of user interaction.

Interactivity events

CARTO VL offers an Interactivity object that allows you to listen to several map events in order to create rich interactive experiences.

The following events are available:

  • featureClick: Fired when the user clicks on features.
  • featureClickOut: Fired when the user clicks outside a feature that was clicked in the last featureClick event.
  • featureHover: Fired when the user moves the cursor over a feature.
  • featureEnter: Fired the first time the user moves the cursor inside a feature.
  • featureLeave: Fired the first time the user moves the cursor outside a feature.

For example, if you want to display an alert when the user clicks on a feature, you just need to create a new Interactivity in the desired Layer. And setup a callback for the featureClick event.

1
2
const interactivity = new carto.Interactivity(layer);
interactivity.on('featureClick', featureEvent => alert('Feature clicked'));

This callback will be called with a single parameter of type featureEvent. This object will have the position and coordinates where the event happened and the list of Features that have been interacted.

Example: change the color on feature enter

Live example

As usual, we create a layer to display the populated places dataset:

1
2
3
const source = new carto.source.Dataset('ne_10m_populated_places_simple');
const viz = new carto.Viz(`width: 15`);
const layer = new carto.Layer('layer', source, viz);

Then we create an Interactivity object passing this layer as a parameter

1
const interactivity = new carto.Interactivity(layer);

Then we set up a listener for the featureEnter in the Interactivity object, this listener will change the color of the first feature included in the features array.

1
2
3
interactivity.on('featureEnter', featureEvent => {
    featureEvent.features[0].color.blendTo('rgba(0, 255, 0, 0.8)', 100);
});

When the featureLeave event is fired we tell our callback to reset the color of the feature

1
2
3
interactivity.on('featureLeave', featureEvent => {
    featureEvent.features[0].color.reset();
});

Variables

The featureEvent object has a special field called variables, this field is used to get the values of the properties.

Initially this field will be empty and only variables present in the Viz object will appear.

Example: Display city name on click

Live example

We want to display the city name when the user clicks on a feature, as usual we create a layer but this time we declare the @name variable in the Viz object.

1
2
3
4
5
6
const source = new carto.source.Dataset('ne_10m_populated_places_simple');
const viz = new carto.Viz(`
    @name: $name
    width: 15
`);
const layer = new carto.Layer('layer', source, viz);

Then we create an Interactivity object defining a callback for the featureClick event, this callback will use variables.name.value property to show the name of the clicked city.

1
2
3
4
const interactivity = new carto.Interactivity(layer);
interactivity.on('featureClick', featureEvent => {
    alert(featureEvent.features[0].variables.name.value)
});

Pop-ups

Live example

Following the previous example, we create a layer to show the populated_places dataset with a variable for the name.

1
2
3
4
5
6
const source = new carto.source.Dataset('ne_10m_populated_places_simple');
const viz = new carto.Viz(`
    @name: $name
    width: 20
`);
const layer = new carto.Layer('layer', source, viz);

Since we are using mapbox.gl to draw the basemap, we can use the pop-up object with our interactivity API.

All we need is to create a pop-up element in the callback of the featureClick event in our Interactivity object extracting the desired fields from the featureEvent.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
const interactivity = new carto.Interactivity(layer);
interactivity.on('featureClick', featureEvent => {
    const coords = featureEvent.coordinates;
    const feature = featureEvent.features[0];
    new mapboxgl.Popup()
        .setLngLat([coords.lng, coords.lat])
        .setHTML(`<h1>${feature.variables.name.value}</h1>`)
        .addTo(map);
});