Chevron DownAPI Reference


The text layer renders text labels on the map using texture mapping. This Layer is extended based on Icon Layer and wrapped using Composite Layer.

Auto pack required characterSet into a shared texture fontAtlas.

TextLayer is a CompositeLayer.

import DeckGL from '';
import {TextLayer} from '';

function App({data, viewState}) {  /**
   * Data format:
   * [
   *   {name: 'Colma (COLM)', address: '365 D Street, Colma CA 94014', coordinates: [-122.466233, 37.684638]},
   *   ...
   * ]

  const layer = new TextLayer({
    id: 'text-layer',
    pickable: true,
    getPosition: d => d.coordinates,
    getText: d =>,
    getSize: 32,
    getAngle: 0,
    getTextAnchor: 'middle',
    getAlignmentBaseline: 'center'

  return <DeckGL viewState={viewState}
    getTooltip={({object}) => object && `${}\n${object.address}`} />;


To install the dependencies from NPM:

npm install
# or
npm install
import {TextLayer} from '';
new TextLayer({});

To use pre-bundled scripts:

<script src="^8.0.0/dist.min.js"></script>
<!-- or -->
<script src="^8.0.0/dist.min.js"></script>
<script src="^8.0.0/dist.min.js"></script>
new deck.TextLayer({});


Inherits from all Base Layer and CompositeLayer properties.

Rendering Options

sizeScale (Number, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: 1

Text size multiplier.

sizeUnits (String, optional)
  • Default: pixels

The units of the size specified by getSize, one of 'meters', 'pixels'. When zooming in and out, meter sizes scale with the base map, and pixel sizes remain the same on screen.

sizeMinPixels (Number, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: 0

The minimum size in pixels.

sizeMaxPixels (Number, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER

The maximum size in pixels.

billboard (Boolean, optional)
  • Default: true

If on, the text always faces camera. Otherwise the text faces up (z).

backgroundColor (Array, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default null

The color to use for text background, in [r, g, b]. Each component is in the [0, 255] range. The alpha of the background matches the opacity of each object, controlled by the props getColor and opacity.

fontFamily (String, optional)
  • Default: 'Monaco, monospace'

Specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names. Follow the specs for CSS font-family.

characterSet (Array | String, optional)

Specifies a list of characters to include in the font. By default, only characters in the Ascii code range 32-128 are included. Use this prop if you need to display special characters.

fontWeight (Number | String, optional)
  • Default: normal.

css font-weight.

lineHeight (Number, optional)
  • Default: 1.0.

A unitless number that will be multiplied with the current font-size to set the line height.

fontSettings (Object, optional)

Advance options for fine tuning the appearance and performance of the generated shared fontAtlas.


  • fontSize (Number): Font size in pixels. Default is 64. This option is only applied for generating fontAtlas, it does not impact the size of displayed text labels. Larger fontSize will give you a sharper look when rendering text labels with very large font sizes. But larger fontSize requires more time and space to generate the fontAtlas.
  • buffer (Number): Whitespace buffer around each side of the character. Default is 2. In general, bigger fontSize requires bigger buffer. Increase buffer will add more space between each character when layout characterSet in fontAtlas. This option could be tuned to provide sufficient space for drawing each character and avoiding overlapping of neighboring characters. But the cost of bigger buffer is more time and space to generate fontAtlas.
  • sdf (Boolean): Flag to enable / disable sdf. Default is false. sdf (Signed Distance Fields) will provide a sharper look when rendering with very large or small font sizes. TextLayer integrates with TinySDF which implements the sdf algorithm.
  • radius (Number): How many pixels around the glyph shape to use for encoding distance. Default is 3. Bigger radius can have more halo effect.
  • cutoff (Number): How much of the radius (relative) is used for the inside part the glyph. Default is 0.25. Bigger cutoff makes character thinner. Smaller cutoff makes character look thicker.

radius and cutoff will be applied only when sdf enabled.

wordBreak (String, optional)
  • Default: break-word

Available options are break-all and break-word. A valid maxWidth has to be provided to use wordBreak.

maxWidth (Number, optional)
  • Default: -1

maxWidth is used together with break-word for wrapping text. The value of maxWidth specifies the width limit to break the text into multiple lines.

Data Accessors

getText (Function, optional)
  • Default: x => x.text

Method called to retrieve the content of each text label.

getPosition (Function, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: x => x.position

Method called to retrieve the location of each text label.

getSize (Function|Number, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: 32

The font size of each text label, in units specified by sizeUnits (default pixels).

  • If a number is provided, it is used as the size for all objects.
  • If a function is provided, it is called on each object to retrieve its size.
getColor (Function|Array, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: [0, 0, 0, 255]

The rgba color is in the format of [r, g, b, [a]]. Each channel is a number between 0-255 and a is 255 if not supplied.

  • If an array is provided, it is used as the color for all objects.
  • If a function is provided, it is called on each object to retrieve its color.
getAngle (Function|Number, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: 0

The rotating angle of each text label, in degrees.

  • If a number is provided, it is used as the angle for all objects.
  • If a function is provided, it is called on each object to retrieve its angle.
getTextAnchor (Function|String, optional)
  • Default: 'middle'

The text anchor. Available options include 'start', 'middle' and 'end'.

  • If a string is provided, it is used as the text anchor for all objects.
  • If a function is provided, it is called on each object to retrieve its text anchor.
getAlignmentBaseline (Function|String, optional)
  • Default: 'center'

The alignment baseline. Available options include 'top', 'center' and 'bottom'.

  • If a string is provided, it is used as the alignment baseline for all objects.
  • If a function is provided, it is called on each object to retrieve its alignment baseline.
getPixelOffset (Function|Array, optional) transition-enabled
  • Default: [0, 0]

Screen space offset relative to the coordinates in pixel unit.

  • If an array is provided, it is used as the offset for all objects.
  • If a function is provided, it is called on each object to retrieve its offset.

Sub Layers

The TextLayer renders the following sublayers:

  • characters - an IconLayer rendering all the characters.

Use binary attributes

This section is about the special requirements when supplying attributes directly to a TextLayer.

Because each text string has a different number of characters, when data.attributes.getText is supplied, the layer also requires an array data.startIndices that describes the character index at the start of each text object. For example, if there are 3 text objects of 2, 3, and 4 characters each, startIndices should be [0, 2, 5, 9].

Additionally, all other attributes (getColor, getWidth, etc.), if supplied, must contain the same layout (number of characters) as the getText buffer.

Example use case:

const TEXT_DATA = [
    text: 'Hello',
    position: [-122.4, 37.7],
    color: [255, 0, 0]
    text: 'World',
    position: [-122.5, 37.8],
    color: [0, 0, 255]

new TextLayer({
  data: TEXT_DATA,
  getText: d => d.text,
  getPosition: d => d.position,
  getColor: d => d.color

Convert to using binary attributes:

// Flatten the text by converting to unicode value
// Non-Latin characters may require Uint16Array
// [72, 101, 108, 108, 111, ...]
const texts = new Uint8Array( => Array.from(d.text).map(char => char.charCodeAt(0))).flat());
// The position attribute must supply one position for each character
// [-122.4, 37.7, -122.4, 37.7, -122.4, 37.7, ...]
const positions = new Float64Array( => Array.from(d.text).map(_ => d.position)).flat(2));
// The color attribute must supply one color for each character
// [255, 0, 0, 255, 0, 0, 255, 0, 0, ...]
const colors = new Uint8Array( => Array.from(d.text).map(_ => d.color)).flat(2));

// The "layout" that tells TextLayer where each string starts
const startIndices = new Uint16Array(TEXT_DATA.reduce((acc, d) => {
  const lastIndex = acc[acc.length - 1];
  acc.push(lastIndex + d.text.length);
  return acc;
}, [0]));

new TextLayer({
  data: {
    length: TEXT_DATA.length,
    startIndices: startIndices, // this is required to render the texts correctly!
    attributes: {
      getText: {value: texts},
      getPosition: {value: positions, size: 2}
      getColor: {value: colors, size: 3}