Show Line Data from GeoJSON File on the Map


This example demonstrates how to load and parse bundled GeoJSON resource and display it on the map.

You will learn the following:

  • How to initialize the map.
  • How to load and parse GeoJson from local resource bundled with the app.
  • How to draw GeoJson data on the map.

Initialize Map

We will add GeoJSON overlay to the map after the style has been loaded. So firstly we initialize the mapView and we set the delegate to our coordinator class so that we can respond to style-has-been loaded event.

    func updateUIView(_ uiView: MGLMapView, context: Context) { }

The method whole makeUIView method looks as follows:

    func makeUIView(context: Context) -> MGLMapView {
        // read the key from property list
        let mapTilerKey = Helper.getMapTilerkey()
        // Use your custom style url
        let styleURL = URL(string: "\(mapTilerKey)")
        // create the mapview
        let mapView = MGLMapView(frame: .zero, styleURL: styleURL)
        mapView.autoresizingMask = [.flexibleWidth, .flexibleHeight]
        mapView.logoView.isHidden = true
        mapView.setCenter(CLLocationCoordinate2D(latitude: 45.5076, longitude: -122.6736), zoomLevel: 11, animated: false)
        // use the coordinator to respond to the map loaded event
        mapView.delegate = context.coordinator
        return mapView

Respond to Style Loaded event

In our coordinator class we add the following method:

    func mapView(_ mapView: MGLMapView, didFinishLoading style: MGLStyle) {

To initiate GeoJSON parsing and rendering.

Load and parse GeoJSON

We will load and parse GeoJSON file on background thread. When GeoJSON is parsed, we will add the overlay to the map on UI thread.

    func loadGeoJson(_ mapView: MGLMapView) {
        // Load and parse geoJson on background, concurrent thread {
            // Get the path for example.geojson in the app’s bundle.
            guard let jsonUrl = Bundle.main.url(forResource: "example", withExtension: "geojson") else {
                preconditionFailure("Failed to load local GeoJSON file")
            guard let jsonData = try? Data(contentsOf: jsonUrl) else {
                preconditionFailure("Failed to parse GeoJSON file")
            // update the map on UI thread
            DispatchQueue.main.async {
                self.drawPolyline(mapView, geoJson: jsonData)

Add the overlay to the map

Firstly we will obtain reference to the style

guard let style = else { return }

Next we create shape object from our GeoJson

guard let shapeFromGeoJSON = try? MGLShape(data: geoJson,
            encoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue) else {
            fatalError("Could not generate MGLShape")

Next we create the source for our layers and add it to the style

    func createSource(_ style: MGLStyle, fromShape shape: MGLShape) -> MGLSource {
        let source = MGLShapeSource(identifier: "polyline", shape: shape, options: nil)
        return source

Then we create the layer and configure its style

    func createLayer(_ source: MGLSource, withLineJoinCap lineJoinCap: NSExpression, withLineWidth lineWidth: NSExpression) -> MGLStyleLayer {
        // Create new layer for the line.
        let layer = MGLLineStyleLayer(identifier: "polyline", source: source)
        layer.lineJoin = lineJoinCap
        layer.lineCap = lineJoinCap
        // Set the line color to a constant blue color.
        layer.lineColor = NSExpression(forConstantValue: UIColor(red: 59/255, green: 178/255, blue: 208/255, alpha: 1))
        layer.lineWidth = lineWidth
        return layer

We can also add casing layer to emulate the outline.

    func createCasingLayer(_ source: MGLSource, withLineJoinCap lineJoinCap: NSExpression) -> MGLStyleLayer {
        // We can also add a second layer that will draw a stroke around the original line.
        let casingLayer = MGLLineStyleLayer(identifier: "polyline-case", source: source)
        // Copy these attributes from the main line layer.
        casingLayer.lineJoin = lineJoinCap
        casingLayer.lineCap = lineJoinCap
        // Line gap width represents the space before the outline begins, so should match the main line’s line width exactly.
        casingLayer.lineGapWidth = casingLayer.lineWidth
        // Stroke color slightly darker than the line color.
        casingLayer.lineColor = NSExpression(forConstantValue: UIColor(red: 41/255, green: 145/255, blue: 171/255, alpha: 1))
        // Use `NSExpression` to gradually increase the stroke width between zoom levels 14 and 18.
        casingLayer.lineWidth = NSExpression(format: "mgl_interpolate:withCurveType:parameters:stops:($zoomLevel, 'linear', nil, %@)", [14: 1, 18: 4])
        return casingLayer

Just for fun, let’s add another copy of the line with a dash pattern.

    func createDashLayer(_ source: MGLSource, withLineJoinCap lineJoinCap: NSExpression, withLineWidth lineWidth: NSExpression) -> MGLStyleLayer {
        let dashedLayer = MGLLineStyleLayer(identifier: "polyline-dash", source: source)
        dashedLayer.lineJoin = lineJoinCap
        dashedLayer.lineCap = lineJoinCap
        dashedLayer.lineColor = NSExpression(forConstantValue: UIColor.white)
        dashedLayer.lineOpacity = NSExpression(forConstantValue: 0.5)
        dashedLayer.lineWidth = lineWidth
        // Dash pattern in the format [dash, gap, dash, gap, ...]. You’ll want to adjust these values based on the line cap style.
        dashedLayer.lineDashPattern = NSExpression(forConstantValue: [0, 1.5])
        return dashedLayer

Finally, add layers to the style

    func addLayers(_ style: MGLStyle, _ layer: MGLStyleLayer, withCasing casingLayer: MGLStyleLayer, withDashPattern dashedLayer: MGLStyleLayer){
        style.insertLayer(casingLayer, below: layer)

The whole method should look as follows:

    func drawPolyline(_ mapView: MGLMapView, geoJson: Data) {
        // Add our GeoJSON data to the map as an MGLGeoJSONSource.
        // We can then reference this data from an MGLStyleLayer.

        // is optional, so you must guard against it not being set.
        guard let style = else { return }
        guard let shapeFromGeoJSON = try? MGLShape(data: geoJson,
            encoding: String.Encoding.utf8.rawValue) else {
            fatalError("Could not generate MGLShape")
        // create source and add it to the style
        let source = self.createSource(style, fromShape: shapeFromGeoJSON)
        // prepare layer parameters
        // Set the line join and cap to a rounded end.
        let lineJoinCap = NSExpression(forConstantValue: "round")
        // Use `NSExpression` to smoothly adjust the line width from 2pt to 20pt between zoom levels 14 and 18.
        // The `interpolationBase` parameter allows the values to interpolate along an exponential curve.
        let lineWidth = NSExpression(
            format: "mgl_interpolate:withCurveType:parameters:stops:($zoomLevel, 'linear', nil, %@)",
            [14: 2, 18: 20])
        // create layers
        let layer = createLayer(source, withLineJoinCap: lineJoinCap, withLineWidth: lineWidth)
        let casingLayer = createCasingLayer(source, withLineJoinCap: lineJoinCap)
        let dashedLayer = createDashLayer(source, withLineJoinCap: lineJoinCap, withLineWidth: lineWidth)
        // add layers to the style
        self.addLayers(style, layer, withCasing: casingLayer, withDashPattern: dashedLayer)

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