Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Slashmaps for Mapbox" Drupal Module is cool. And I can do that with ArcGIS Online.

This post shows how I created map galleries for my Drupal web site like the galleries you get from the "Slashmaps for Mapbox" Drupal module.  

I worked on this because my maps are already in ArcGIS Online.  And because I'm a Drupal novice and found the new mapping module intimidating. 

Here is a quick-ref list of all the Drupal map galleries that are described and compared below:

1. built on the Slashmaps for Mapbox Drupal module.

2.  My ArcGIS Online map galleries based on the <iframe> tag:
     a.  Drupal Map Gallery - Demo 1:  grid view 
     b.  Drupal Map Gallery - Demo 2:  list view
     c.  Drupal Map Gallery - Demo 3:  carousel
     d.  Drupal Map Gallery - Demo 4:  gallery hosted elsewhere and embedded here (gridview)

3.  Marten Hogeweg's Esri_MapGallery Drupal module prototype

Are my ArcGIS Online map galleries as good as the Slashmap for Mapbox module?  You can look for yourself at the links above.  I'll do a capabilities comparison in a future post.

The FCC Announcement:  Slashmap for Mapbox Module for Drupal

I'm in the process of migrating my Choptank River Heritage web site, which already includes a map gallery, to Drupal.  So I was interested in the FCC announcement back in March about their new map gallery.  And their collaboration with the Drupal community to build the Drupal module called Slashmaps for Mapbox.

I took a look at

And I was suprised at how similar it looks to my own map galleries built from ArcGIS Online at and :

Since my Choptank River Heritage maps are already published in ArcGIS Online, I looked for a Drupal module that connects to ArcGIS Online.

Is There a Drupal module for ArcGIS Online?

I googled and found Marten Hogeweg's Drupal sandbox for ArcGIS Online.  It was still rough.  So I contacted Marten and asked if Esri will develop and support a Drupal module for ArcGIS Online.  He said there's interest.  And we plan to meet up at the Esri UC to talk more about this.  (Contact Marten or me if you want to join in.)

Meantime, Marten did some quick work over the weekend and committed a new Esri MapGallery module to Drupal git for me to try out.   Here is the very rough result so far.  Marten has already made improvements (such as removing the huge title banner) that I will incorporate in the next few days.

Do I really need a Drupal module for a map gallery?  How about a simple <iframe> tag ?

I also wondered if I couldn't do a simpler Drupal integration using the <iframe> tag.  Same as we see already for embedding ArcGIS Online maps into web pages:

And for embedding Google Maps into web pages:

My four <iframe> Map Galleries for Drupal

Esri's first "map gallery" was a simple display of maps that belong to an ArcGIS Online user group.  Nothing else to do.  Last summer (2011), Esri released its Javascript template that can be published in an organization's own web site.  This required simple Javascript configuration and publishing the html, css, and js files to your web server.  This is still an option.  Since then, Esri has created other ways to publish map galleries in your own web site.  All of them run off of the user groups at ArcGIS Online.  

Here is the list of demo map galleries in my Drupal web site that leverage the <iframe> tag to embed map group contents from ArcGIS Online.  Each of my Drupal pages gives a short explanation of the configuration and subtle differences between them:

1.  Drupal Map Gallery - Demo 1:  grid view is simple, usable as-is with no changes to <iframe> sizing.

2.  Drupal Map Gallery - Demo 2:  list view, <iframe> size has to be tweeked to hide annoying side panel, and the gawdy title bar is not configurable.

3.  Drupal Map Carousel - Demo 3:  map carousel, requires <iframe> sizing but otherwise easy, and pretty cool.

4.  Drupal Map Carousel - Demo 4:  <iframe> of the Esri gallery template already published on my non-Drupal web site.  Gives the most configuration control but requires some knowledge of HTML and CSS.

Let me know of your experience with the Mapbox module or these ArcGIS approaches.


  1. Nice analysis of some options for including galleries and maps in Drupal. I had started with the iframe approach, but that means copy/paste of some code snippet you'll have to maintain somewhere.

    The current module just wants the group id. Drupal's menu system allows you to connect any menu item to the gallery page.

    Since this post, I've made some updates already. Check out the code at:

  2. hi Don, an update! we have released an actual Drupal module for embedding ArcGIS Online content. it is available for download and contribution(!) at or directly via

    This module has been used in the newly release site. check out the map galleries there: