Geoprocessing on the Client Side with Turf.js

Architecture and Planning

Geoprocessing has been primarily a desktop activity. Using ArcServer, you can publish geoprocessing services. This takes geoprocessing off the desktop but requires communication between a client and server. I don’t mind you downloading my data and processing it on your desktop, but I really don’t like the idea of you using my CPU and memory running some harebrained geoprocessing task off my server. Given the advances in web technology, especially JavaScript, can’t we come up with something better? Can’t we let the client handle the work?

We can with Turf.js.

Using Turf.js you can perform a large number of commonly used geoprocessing functions client side.  In this post, I will show you how to buffer, point in polygon and sum a field for points in a polygon.

Buffer a Point

1. Using Leaflet.js, create a map and add a tile layer:

  • var map = L.map(‘map’, { center: [35.10418, -106.62987],zoom: 9});
  • L.tileLayer(‘http://{s}.tile.osm.org/{z}/{x}/{y}.png’).addTo(map);

2. Create…

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