Introduction to the OpenGeo Suite

Introducing OpenLayers and GeoExt

OpenGeo Suite includes some JavaScript libraries for building custom web map applications. These include OpenLayers and GeoExt


OpenLayers is a JavaScript library for building mapping applications in a browser. Mapping applications consist of map layers (raster- or vector-based, integrated from a variety of sources), and controls for operating on those layers.


Ext JS

Ext JS is a JavaScript library offering a range of user interface widgets such as grids, trees, menus, and panels.



GeoExt combines the geospatial controls of OpenLayers with the user interface components of Ext JS into a framework that allows you to build rich desktop-style GIS applications for the browser.


Previous examples

We’ve seen both OpenLayers and GeoExt applications in the preceding sections.

  • The GeoServer/GeoWebCache layer preview tools are built using OpenLayers
  • Our published map application (and GeoExplorer itself) are built with GeoExt

In our evolving diagram of the OpenGeo Suite architecture, applications built using OpenLayers and/or GeoExt sit right at the top consuming layers, with/without GeoWebCache, from our local GeoServer.


OpenLayers/GeoExt web-mapping applications in the OpenGeo Suite stack

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About Boundless

Boundless provides commercial open source software for internet mapping and geospatial application development. We are dedicated to the growth and support of open source software.


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