Introduction to the OpenGeo Suite

Layer Panel and Legend

The Layer Panel lists each layer currently loaded on the map, and provides both a tool set and context menu for interacting with them.

Layer types

Layers are organized in two folders: Overlays and Base Layers.

  • Overlays include any layer added from the local GeoServer or any other remote, WMS or WFS server
  • Base Layers include any layer added from a known tile-map server (Google, Bing, Yahoo, MapQuest, or OpenStreetMap)

Layer tools

The Layer Tools are located in a smaller tool-bar at the top of the Layer Panel.

Button Name Description
../_images/gx_icon_addlayer.png Add Layer Opens a list of available layers for you to add to your map.
../_images/gx_icon_remlayer.png Remove Layer Removes the currently selected layer from your map.
../_images/gx_icon_layerprops.png Layer Properties Opens the layer properties dialog.
../_images/gx_icon_editstyle.png Edit Styles Opens a GUI-based layer style editor. (Requires Login.)


You might notice that the Edit Styles button is visible but inactive. It is one of several tools that users must log in to use. We’ll review these in upcoming sections.

Layer context menu

The Layer context menu opens when you right-click an item in the Layer list.


Layer context menu

Its options mirror the Layer Tools (above) with the addition of the Zoom to layer extent option.

As its name implies, this tool zooms the map to the spatial extent of the selected layer.


The map legend displays styling information for any layers in the Overlay list. Its contents are updated automatically as layers are added, removed or re-styled.


Due to their nature as a composite of multiple layers, layer groups will not display any legend.

Continue Reading

Previous: Navigation tools

Next: Composing a Map

This Page

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.


This work is licensed under a Creative Non Commercial-Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Feel free to use this material, but we ask that you please retain the Boundless branding, logos and style.

Creative Commons License