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Using deck.gl with React

While not directly based on React, deck.gl is designed from ground up to work with React-based applications. deck.gl layers fit naturally into React's component render flow and flux/redux based appications. deck.gl layers will be performantly rerendered whenever you rerender your normal JSX or React components.

The DeckGL React Component

To use deck.gl with React, simply import the DeckGL React component and render it as a child of another component, passing in your list of deck.gl layers as a property.

/// app.js
import React from 'react';
import DeckGL from '@deck.gl/react';
import {LineLayer} from '@deck.gl/layers';

// Viewport settings
const INITIAL_VIEW_STATE = {
  longitude: -122.41669,
  latitude: 37.7853,
  zoom: 13,
  pitch: 0,
  bearing: 0
};

// Data to be used by the LineLayer
const data = [
  {sourcePosition: [-122.41669, 37.7853], targetPosition: [-122.41669, 37.781]}
];

// DeckGL react component
function App() {
  const layers = [
    new LineLayer({id: 'line-layer', data})
  ];

  return <DeckGL
      initialViewState={INITIAL_VIEW_STATE}
      controller={true}
      layers={layers} />;
}

Adding a Base Map

An important companion to deck.gl is react-map-gl. It is a React wrapper for Mapbox that can share the same web mercator viewport settings.

/// app.js
import React from 'react';
import DeckGL from '@deck.gl/react';
import {LineLayer} from '@deck.gl/layers';
import {StaticMap} from 'react-map-gl';

// Set your mapbox access token here
const MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN = 'your_mapbox_token';

// Viewport settings
const INITIAL_VIEW_STATE = {
  longitude: -122.41669,
  latitude: 37.7853,
  zoom: 13,
  pitch: 0,
  bearing: 0
};

// Data to be used by the LineLayer
const data = [
  {sourcePosition: [-122.41669, 37.7853], targetPosition: [-122.41669, 37.781]}
];

function App({data}) {
  const layers = [
    new LineLayer({id: 'line-layer', data})
  ];

  return (
    <DeckGL
      initialViewState={INITIAL_VIEW_STATE}
      controller={true}
      layers={layers}
    >
      <StaticMap mapboxApiAccessToken={MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN} />
    </DeckGL>
  );
}

Using JSX with deck.gl Layers

It is possible to use JSX syntax to create deck.gl layers as React children of the DeckGL React components, instead of providing them as ES6 class instances to the layers prop. There are no performance advantages to this syntax but it can allow for a more consistent, React-like coding style.

function App() {
  return (
    <DeckGL
      initialViewState={INITIAL_VIEW_STATE}
      controller={true} >
      <LineLayer id="line-layer" data={data} />
    </DeckGL>
  );
}

For more information on this syntax and its limitations, see DeckGL API.

Using JSX with deck.gl views

It is possible to use JSX syntax to create deck.gl views as React children of the DeckGL React components, instead of providing them as ES6 class instances to the views prop.

The following code renders the same set of layers in two viewports, splitting the canvas into two columns:

import {MapView, FirstPersonView} from '@deck.gl/core';

function App() {
  const layers = [
    new LineLayer({id: 'line-layer', data})
  ];

  return (
    <DeckGL
      initialViewState={INITIAL_VIEW_STATE}
      controller={true}
      layers={layers} >
      <MapView id="map" width="50%" controller={true}>
        <StaticMap mapboxApiAccessToken={MAPBOX_ACCESS_TOKEN} />
      </MapView>
      <FirstPersonView width="50%" x="50%" fovy={50} />
    </DeckGL>
  );
}

For more information on this syntax, see DeckGL API.

Remarks

  • The DeckGL component is typically rendered as a child of a map component like react-map-gl, but could be rendered as a child of any React component that you want to overlay your layers on top of.

  • To achive the overlay effect, the DeckGL component creates a transparent canvas DOM element, into which the deck.gl layers passed in the layers prop will render (using WebGL). Since this canvas is transparent, any other component you have underneath (typically a map) will visible behind the layers.

  • When the deck.gl layer list is drawn to screen, it matches the new Layer instances with the instances from the previous render call, intelligently compares the new properties and only updates WebGL state when needed (just like React does for DOM components).

  • Internally, the DeckGL component initializes a WebGL context attached to a canvas element, sets up the animation loop and calls provided callbacks on initial load and for each rendered frame. The DeckGL component also handles events propagation across layers, and prevents unnecessary calculations using React and deck.gl lifecycle functions.

See full API doc for the DeckGL component.