Advanced Configuration

Create an overview map

To add an overview map, or location map, in the Lizmap’s map, you must:

  • Create an independent group in the QGIS project called Overview (with the 1st letter capitalized)
  • Add layers, for example a layer of municipalities, a lighter terrain base layer, etc.

All layers and groups in the Overview group will not be shown in the lizmap’s map legend. They are drawn only in the Overview map.

It is advisable to use:

  • light and simplified (if necessary) vector layers
  • use a suitable symbology: small strokes and simple or hidden labels

Here is an example of use:


Add the localization function


The idea of this tool is to present to the Lizmap Web Client user a drop down list that gives the ability to zoom on one or more spatial objects of the layer.

Use case

Consider a spatial vector layer districts contained in the QGIS project. We choose to add these districts in the tool Locate by layer, to allow Lizmap Web Client users to quickly position on one of the districts.

Once this layer added in the tool Locate by layer, a drop down list of the districts appears on the Lizmap Web interface.

When the Web map user selects one name in this list, the map will automatically refocuses on the selected district and the district’s geometry is displayed (optional).



The layer(s) you want to use must be published as WFS layer: check the corresponding box of the WFS capabilities in the OWS Server tab of the Project Properties window.

How to

To add a layer to this tool:

  • choose the layer with the first dropdown from the list of the project vector layers
  • then the column that contains the label you want to display in the dropdown list
  • if you want the geometry of the related objects is also displayed on the map when the user selects an item from the list, then check the option Display the geometry
  • finally click the button Add layer to add it to the list.

To remove a layer already configured:

  • select the line of the layer you want to remote by clicking on it
  • click on the button Remove layer.

Hierarchical Lists

If we take the example of districts, it may be interesting to also provide to the user a sub-districts dropdown. We wish that when the user chooses a district, the dropdown of sub-districts is automatically filtered to display only the sub-districts of the chosen district.

For this, there are 2 methods:

  • you either have 2 separate vector layers: one for districts and for sub-districts. So you have to use a field join between the two layers to enable automatic filtering lists in Lizmap
  • either we have only 1 layer for sub-districts, and then you can specify with the plugin a group field. Two dropdowns will be created instead of one in the Web application.


Up to 3 project layers can be added to the Locate by layer tool.

Media in Lizmap

Use principle

It is possible to provide documents through Lizmap. To do this, you simply:

  • create a directory called media (in lower case and without accents) at the same level as the QGIS project
  • place documents in it: pictures, reports, pdfs, videos, HTML or text files
  • the documents contained in this media directory are synchronized as other data with the plugin FTP synchronisation
  • you can use subdirectories per layer or theme: the organization of media directory content is free.

Then in Lizmap Web Client you can provide access to these documents for 2 things:

  • the popups: the content of one or more field for each geometry can specify the path to the media. For example a photo or pdf field
  • the link provided for each group or layer in the Lizmap plugin Layers tab.

Details of these uses is specified below.

Use in popups


As described in the introduction above, you can use a media path in the spatial data layer.

For example, if you want that the popups associated with a layer displayed a picture that depends on each object, just create a new field that will contain the media path to the picture in each row of the layer attribute table, then activate popups for this layer.


Here for example the attribute table of a layer landscape configured to display pictures in the popup. The user has created a picture field in which he places the path to the pictures, and a pdf field in which he puts the paths to a pdf file describing the object corresponding to each line.

id name description picture pdf
1 Marsh blabla media/photos/photo_1.png media/docs/paysage-1.pdf
2 Beach blibli media/photos/photo_2.png media/docs/paysage-2.pdf
3 Moor bloblo media/photos/photo_3.png media/docs/paysage-3.pdf


In this example, we see that the pictures and pdf file names are normalized. Please follow this example because it allows using the QGIS Field Calculator to create or update automatically the media column data for the entire layer.


Here are the display rules in the popup:

  • if the path points to a picture, the image will be displayed in the popup. Clicking on the picture will display the original image in a new tab
  • if the path points to a text file or HTML file, the file contents will be displayed in the popup
  • for other file types, the popup will display a link to the document that users can download by clicking on the link.


Below is an illustration of a Lizmap popup displaying a picture, a text and a link in the popup:


How to configure popups

Activate popups

With the plugin, you can activate popups for a single layer or for a group configured with the “Group as layer” option.

Just click on the checkbox Activate popups of the tab Layers on the Lizmap plugin interface. For the Group as layer option you must select the option for the group and for all the layers included you want to show in the popup: in this case, only the layers with the option Popup checked will be shown.

You have three types of popup sources:

  • auto
  • lizmap
  • qgis

In the web application Lizmap Web Client, a click on a map object will trigger the popup if (and only if):

  • the layer is active in the legend, so that it is shown on the canvas
  • the popup has been activated through the plugin for the layer or the group
  • the user has clicked on an area of the canvas where data for the layer with active popups are displayed.


For point layers you need to click in the middle of the point to display the popup.

Auto popup

The Lizmap Web Client auto popup displays a table showing the columns of the attribute table in two columns Field and Value, as shown below:

Field Value
id 1
name A name
description This object ...
photo :-)

You can modify the info displayed through QGIS, and also display pictures or links.

Simple popup configuration

With the plugin, if you click on the checkbox Activate popups without modifying its content through the button Configure the default table is shown.

Nevertheless, you can tune several things in QGIS and with the help of Lizmap plugin to parametrize the fields displayed, rename fields, and even display images, photos, or links to internal or external documents.

Mask or rename a column

You can use the tools available in the Fields tab of the Layer properties, in QGIS:

  • to avoid displaying a column in the popup, uncheck the relative WMS checkbox. The WMS column is on the right
  • to change the name displayed for that column, type a different name in the Alias column

Usage of media: images, documents, etc.

If you use paths to documents of the media directory, you can:

  • display the image found at that link
  • display the content (text or HTML) of the file
  • display a link to a document

See also

Chapter Media in Lizmap for more details on the usage of documents of the directory media in the popups.

Lizmap popup


If the simple table display does not suit your needs, you can write a popup template. To do so, you should know well the HTML format. See e.g.:


When you use the lizmap mode, the previous configuration to rename a field does not work anymore: you have to configure what is displayed and how through the template. Managing media is also possible, but you have to configure it as well.


You can edit the popup template with the button Configure in the Lizmap plugin. Clicking on it you’ll get a window with two text areas:

  • an area where you can type your text
  • a read-only area, showing a preview of your template

You can type simple text, but we suggest to write in HTML format to give proper formatting. For instance, you can add paragraphs, headings, etc.:

<h3>A Title</h3>
<p>An example of paragraph</p>

The behaviour is as follows:

  • if the content of the two areas is empty, a simple table will be shown in the popup (default template)
  • if the content is not empty, its content will be used as a template for the popup

Lizmap Web Client will replace automatically a variable, identified by the name of a field, with its content. To add the content of a column to a popup, you should use the name of the column precede by a dollar sign ($), all surrounded by curly brackets ({}). For instance:

<h3>A Title</h3>
<p>An example of paragraph</p>
<p>A name: <b>{$name}</b></p>
<p>Description: {$description}</p>


If you have configured an alias for a field, you have to use the alias instead of the name, between the brackets.

You can also use the values of the columns as parameters to give styling to the text. An example here, to use the colour of a bus line as a background colour:

<p style="background-color:{$color}">
<b>LINE</b> : {$ref} - {$name}

QGIS popup

QGIS popups can be configured via QGIS –> Layer properties –> Tooltips –> HTML, using the same syntax as for the lizmap popups. The main advantages of this approach are:

  • you can use QGIS variables and expressions, thus adding information created dynamically
  • the popup can be previewed in QGIS, using tooltips
  • the popup configurations are stored in QGIS project and layer style, so they can be reused in other Lizmap projects without replicating the configuration.

Creating simple themes

Starting from Lizmap Web Client version 2.10, it is possible to create themes for all maps of a repository or for a single map. This function needs to be activated by the administrator and uses the directory media Media in Lizmap.

The principle is:

  • the directory media contains a directory named themes
  • the directory themes contains a default directory for the theme of all the maps of the repository
  • the directory themes may contain a directory per project, for the themes specific for each project
-- media
  |-- themes
    |-- default
    |-- map_project_file_name1
    |-- map_project_file_name2
    |-- etc

In order to simplify the creation of a theme for a repository or a map, Lizmap allows you to obtain the default theme fro the application, through the request: index.php/view/media/getDefaultTheme.

The request returns a zipfile containing the default theme, with the following structure:

  |-- default
    |-- css
      |-- main.css
      |-- map.css
      |-- media.css
      |-- img
        |-- loading.gif
        |-- etc
      |-- images
        |-- sprite_20.png
        |-- etc

Once downloaded the zipfile, you can:

  • replace the images
  • edit the CSS files

Once your theme is ready, you can just publish it copying it in the directory media.

Adding your own JavaScript


This is useful for a variety of advanced usage. For instance, you can avoid people being able to download elements of the page by right clicking on them, and of course much more.


This is available starting with Lizmap 2.11. For earlier versions, you must add your code directly to file lizmap/www/js/map.js.

  • In your repository (e.g. /home/data/repo1/myproject.qgs you should have these directories:

    |-- js
      |-- myproject
  • All the Javascript code you copy in the /home/data/rep1/media/js/myproject/ directory will be executed by Lizmap, provided that:

  • you allow it, through the Lizmap admin interface, adding the privilege “Allow themes for this repository” in the form for the modification of the repository

Available Javascript events

The Javascript code can use many events fired by Lizmap Web Client. Here is a list of all the events available, with the returned properties.

Lizmap Web Client available events
Event name Description Returned properties
treecreated Fired when layer tree has been created in legend panel  
mapcreated Fired when OpenLayers map has been created  
layersadded Fired when Openlayers layers have been added  
uicreated Fired when interface has been created  
dockopened Fired when a dock is opened (left panel) id
dockclosed Fired when a dock is closed (left panel) id
minidockopened Fired when a mini-dock ( right container for tools) is opened id
minidockclosed Fired when a mini-dock is closed id
bottomdockopened Fired when the bottom dock is opened id
bottomdockclosed Fired when the bottom dock is closed id
lizmapbaselayerchanged Fired when the baselayer has been changed layer
lizmapswitcheritemselected Fired when a layer has been highlighted in the layer legend panel name | type | selected
layerstylechanged Fired when a layer style has been changed featureType
lizmaplocatefeaturecanceled Fired when the user has canceled the locate by layer tool featureType
lizmaplocatefeaturechanged Fired when the user has selected an item in the locate by layer tool featureType | featureId
lizmappopupdisplayed Fired when the popup content is displayed  
lizmappopupdisplayed_inattributetable Fired when the popup content is displayed in attribute table (right sub-panel)  
lizmapeditionformdisplayed Fired when a edition form is displayed layerId | featureId | editionConfig
lizmapeditionfeaturecreated Fired when a layer feature has been created with the edition tool layerId
lizmapeditionfeaturemodified Fired when a layer feature has been modified with the edition tool layerId
lizmapeditionfeaturedeleted Fired when a layer feature has been deleted with the edition tool layerId | featureId
attributeLayersReady Fired when all layers to be displayed in the attribute layers tool have been set layers
attributeLayerContentReady Fired when a table for a layer has been displayed in the bottom dock featureType
layerfeaturehighlighted Fired when a feature has been highlighted in the attribute table ( grey rectangle ). Firing this event manually forces a refresh of child tables if any exist for the layer sourceTable | featureType | fid
layerfeatureselected Fire this event to trigger the selection of a feature for a layer, by passing feature id. Once the selection is done, the event layerSelectionChanged is fired in return. featureType | fid | updateDrawing
layerfeaturefilterselected Fire this event to trigger the filtering of a layer for the selected features. You must select some features before firing this event. Once the filter is applied, Lizmap fires the event layerFilteredFeaturesChanged in return. featureType
layerFilteredFeaturesChanged Fired when a filter has been applied to the map for a layer. This event also trigger the redrawing of the map and the attribute tables content. featureType | featureIds | updateDrawing
layerFilterParamChanged Fired when the WMS requests parameters have changed for a layer. For example when a STYLE or a FILTER has been modified for the layer. featureType | filter | updateDrawing
layerfeatureremovefilter Fire this event to remove any filter applied to the map. Once done, the event layerFilteredFeaturesChanged is fired back, and the map content and attribute tables content are refreshed. featureType
layerSelectionChanged Fired when the selection have been changed for a layer. This also trigger the redrawing of attribute table content and map content featureType | featureIds | updateDrawing
layerfeatureselectsearched Fire this event to select all the features corresponding to the displayed lines of the attribute table, which can be visually filterd by the user by entering some characters in the search text input. featureType | updateDrawing
layerfeatureunselectall Fire this event to remove all features from selection for a layer. Once done, Lizmap responds with the event layerSelectionChanged featureType | updateDrawing


Here is a very small example allowing you to disable right clic in Lizmap. Just add a file named e.g. disableRightClick.js with the following code:{
   uicreated: function(e) {
      $('body').attr('oncontextmenu', 'return false;');
  • If you want this code to be executed for all projects of your repository, you have to copy the file in the directory /home/data/rep1/media/js/default/ rather than in /home/data/rep1/media/js/myproject/.

That’s all.

In the directory lizmap-web-client/lizmap/install/qgis/media/js/ you can find examples of suitable JavaScript code; just remove the extension .example and copy them to your media/js/default/ folder to activate them.

Printing configuration

To add print capabilities in the online map, you have to enbale the printing tool in the plugin Map tab (Configure the map) and the QGIS project has at least one print composition.

The print composition must contain at least one map.

you can add :

  • an image to North arrow
  • an image for the logo of your organization
  • a legend that will be fixed for all printing (before version 2.6)
  • a scale, preferably digital for display
  • a location map, a map for which you have enabled and configured the function of Overview
  • labels

You can allow the user to modify the contents of certain labels (title, description, comment, etc). To do this you simply have to add an identifier to your labels.

Finally the print function will be based on the map scales that you set in the plugin Map (Configure the map).


It is possible to exclude printing compositions for the web. For example, if the QGIS project contains 4 compositions, the project administrator can exclude 2 compositions in the QGIS project properties, OWS server tab. So only the published compositions will be presented in Lizmap.

Allow printing of external baselayers

The Lizmap plugin Baselayers tab allows you to select and add external baselayers (Configure the base layers). These external baselayers are not part of the QGIS project, default print function does not integrate them.

To overcome this lack Lizmap offers an easy way to print a group or layer instead of the external baselayer.

To add to printing a layer that replaces an external baselayer, simply add to the QGIS project a group or layer whose name is part of the following list:

  • osm-mapnik for OpenStreetMap
  • osm-mapquest for MapQuest OSM
  • osm-cyclemap for OSM CycleMap
  • google-satellite for Google Satellite
  • google-hybrid for Google Hybrid
  • google-terrain for Google Terrain
  • google-street for Google Streets
  • bing-road for Bing Road
  • bing-aerial for Bing Aerial
  • bing-hybrid for Bing Hybrid
  • ign-scan for IGN Scan
  • ign-plan for IGN Plan
  • ign-photo for IGN Photos

and then add your layer(s) you want to print as base.


The use of this method must be in compliance with the licensing of external baselayers used (Configure the base layers).

For OpenStreetMap baselayers, it is possible to use an XML file for GDAL to exploit the OpenStreetMap tile services. Its use is described in the GDAL documentation or in this blog post

By cons, if this layer has to replace an external baselayer, it must be accessible to QGIS-Server but should not be accessible to the user in Lizmap Web Client. So it must be hidden. See chapter Masking individual layers.

Optimizing Lizmap

General concepts

Rendering speed is crucial for a webGIS, much more so than for a desktop application:

  • web users expect to have everything available almost immediately
  • each user can sends requests to the same application; if you have tens or hundreds of users, you can easy understand that optimising your web application is an important task.

You have to think to a web publication for many users rather than the display of a map to a single user.

By default, for each QGIS layer you add to your Lizmap project, you can choose from the Lizmap plugin whether to toggle the layer visibility on (checkbox Toggled?) at the startup of the application. You have to be careful not to abuse this feature, because if the project contains e.g. 30 layers, Lizmap at startup will send a request to QGIS server for each of them. If the checkbox Single Tile? is ticked, this will request 30 images of the size of your browser window. If not, Lizmap, through OpenLayers, will request 30 series of tiles (about 250 by 250 pixel). Each tile is an image, and is created as a function of the total window size and zooming level. Therefore, subsequent users will zoom in the same area, the tiles already generated will be reused. The tiles can be cached with two non exclusive systems:

  • server side, on the machine where QGIS server and Lizmap are installed. If the tile has been requested and generated earlier, and not expired, Lizmap will reuse it and send it to the client, avoiding a new request to QGIS server
  • client side: the tiles will be saved in the browser cache, and reused until they expire. This avoid both the request to QGIS server and the internet traffic.

The server cache has to be generated. In Lizmap <3, the only way of creating the tiles is to zoom and pan the whole map, and wait until all the tiles have been displayed. This is obviously impractical for projects covering a large area, with many zoom levels. in Lizmap >=3 we have developed a command line tool to generate all the tiles, or a selection of them.

To optimize the performance, is therefore important to understand how Lizmap uses the tiles to be displayed.

Let’s say you have a screen of 1280 by 768 pixels. If you have all your layers tiled, Lizmap has therefore to show about 5 by 3= 15 tiles (256 by 256 pixel each) per layer, and more for a larger screen, now common. If surrounding tiles are only partially shown, the total number will be even greater. An average of 20 tiles per layer is a reasonable estimate. With 30 layers, as in our example, this will mean a total of about 20 by 30= 600 tiles (therefore, 600 requests to Lizmap server) per user, at each startup of Lizmap and for every zoom & pan. If you have 10 concurrent users, this gets quite heavy for the server, if the cache has not been generated previously, and QGIS server has therefore to create them. The time required for each tile will depend heavily on the performance of the server and the complexity of the project.

The size of each tile will depend on:

  • the type of data (single raster or vector, or combination of several layers)
  • the image format chosen (PNG, JPEG)

A typical tile could be around 30 Kb. In our example, the client will therefore download about 20 by 30= 600 Kb per layer, which, for 30 layers, will give a grand total of about 18 Mb, which is heavy both for the server (lots of connection bandwidth consumed) and for the users (long delay, even with a reasonably fast connection).

These calculations show clearly that to achieve good performances in webmapping you have to make choices, and simplify as much as possible.

If one looks, for instance, at the approach taken by Google Maps or similar services, it is quite obvious that, besides having powerful servers, they have simplified as much as possible: only one tile series as a base layer, and very few additional layers (and not all at the same time). Even if you cannot create such a simple map, it’s important nonetheless knowing which layers should absolutely be shown at the first display of the map, and which compromises are acceptable for your users.

If your project has 50 layers to be switched on and off, the vast majority of your users will never select most of them. Of course, there are real use cases where individual layers must be displayed selectively, and it is therefore not possible to group them to reduce the number of layers displayed.

To optimize your application as much as possible, we suggest you to:

  • Create separate QGIS projects, and therefore different Lizmap maps, for different aims, thus grouping data in logical themes. For instance, a map about urban development with maybe 10 layers and one about environment, with about 5 layers, are usually more readable, and much faster, than a single overcomplex project with all the data. Adding a small image for each project will help users to select the relevant project at first sight. You can also share some of the layers among different projects, through the embedding mechanism in QGIS.
  • Use the option Maps only in the administrator web interface. This option allows the user to switch automatically from one map to another, through the button Home, maintaining as much as possible the localization and the zooming level. In this case, the Lizmap welcome page with the list of projects and their thumbnails is not displayed, and the user is directed automatically to one of the projects, at the administrator choice.
  • Do not show all the layers at startup (deactivate the checkbox Toggled? as described above). Only very important layers should be visible by default, and users should activate only the layer they need. This allow a sensible reduction in the number of requests, and of the total network traffic.
  • Create groups of layers, and use the option Group as layer? in Lizmap plugin. Generally a series of layers of the same general theme can be displayed as a whole, with an appropriate choice of styles. In this case, Lizmap will only show one checkbox for the whole group, and more importantly it will request only one series of tiles for the whole group, thus reducing the number of tiles and server requests, and the total volume of data to be downloaded. The legend of the group will be displayed.
  • Use the option Single Tile? for some layers. In this case, Lizmap will request only one image per layer, of about the size of the screen, instead of a series of tiles. This will therefore greatly reduce the number of requests to the server. For instance, in our example above, without the optimizations described, if all the layers are displayed, every user will request 30 images (one per layer) for every zoom or pan, instead of 480. The total size of data to be downloaded is however similar. On the other hand, different users will be very unlikely to request exactly the same image, therefore using a cache is pointless in this case, and is avoided by Lizmap (the two options are mutually exclusive). The optimal choice (single tile vs. tiled) is different for different layers. For instance, a complex base layer, created by combining 15 individual layers, will be best used as a group (Group as layer?), tiled and cached. A simple linear layer, like a series of bus lines, can be displayed as a single tile.
  • Use the option Hide checkboxes for groups: this avoids the users to click on a group with e.g. 20 layers without really needing it, thus firing a big series of requests to the server. In any case, avoiding groups of more than 5-10 layers is usually good practice.
  • Optimize the data and the QGIS project. As mentioned above, publishing a map over the internet will change your point of view: as said, you have to remember that many users can hit the server in parallel, so avoiding to overload it is crucial to:
    • create a spatial index for all your vector layers
    • pyramidize all your raster layers (except the very small ones)
    • only display data at appropriate scale: for instance, displaying a detailed building layer at 1:500,000 is meaningless, as the image is almost unreadable, and puts a lot of stress on the server
    • use simplified version of a layer to display it at different scales. You can then group the original layer (to be displayed e.g. around 1:1,000) with the simplified versions (to be displayed e.g. around 1:10,000, 1:50,000, etc.), and Goup as a layer to let the user see this as a single layer, using the most appropriate data at each scale
    • be careful about On The Fly (OTF) reprojection. If, for instance, you display data in Lambert 93 (EPSG:2154) on a base map from OpenStreetmap or Google (in Pseudo Mercator, EPSG:3857), QGIS Server needs to reproject rasters and vectors before generating the map. This may have an impact in rendering times for large and complex layers. In France, you can avoid reprojection by using the base map from IGN Géoportail directly in EPSG:2154
    • be aware of the fact that certain rendering options (e.g. labels, expressions, etc.) can be very demanding from the server
    • if you use PostGIS, optimize it: always add spatial indexes, indexes for filtered fields, for foreign keys, appropriate parameters for the configuration of PostgreSQL, possibly a connection through Unix socket instead of TCP/IP (you can do this through the use of services), etc.
    • use an appropriate image format. For the base layers, where you do not need transparency JPEG is usually the best option: the tiles will be smaller, and faster to download. For other layers, try smaller depth PNGs (16bit or 8bit): for some symbolizations, the visual result may be the same, and the tiles smaller. Have a check to see if the image quality is acceptable in your case
  • Upgrade your server. This is always an option, but is often useless if you did not optimize your project as described above. In any case, a low end server (e.g. 2 Gb RAM, 2 cores at 2.2 GHz) is unsuitable. A fast quad-core with 8 Gb RAM is a reasonable minimum. Avoid installing QGIS server and Lizmap on Windows, it’s more complex and slower.


Lizmap 3: On the upcoming Lizmap 3 you’ll find several improvements that will help optimizing your installation: * a tool for the preparation of the server cache, through the use of a WMTS protocol. In addition, this will allow to use the cached layers as WMTS layers in QGIS desktop * avoiding the automatic download of the legends at startup, and at every zoom level; this will be done exclusively on demand, if the legend is displayed, thus saving one request per layer for each zoom * code optimization.

In detail: how to activate the caches

The Lizmap plugin Layers tab allows you to enable for each layer or group as a layer the cache for generated images. This feature is not compatible with the option not tiled image.

  • Activating the cache server side

Lizmap Web Client can dynamically create a cache tiles on the server. This cache is the storage of the images already generated by QGIS-Server on the server. The Lizmap Web Client application automatically generates the cache as the tiles are requested. Enable caching can greatly lighten the load on the server, since we do not want more QGIS-Server tiles that have already been made.

To activate it you must:

  • check the box Server cache?
  • specify the expiration time of the cache server in seconds: Expiration (seconds)

The Metatile option allows you to specify image size in addition for generating a tile. The principle of Metatile is to request the server for a bigger image than hoped, to cut it to the size of the request and return it to the Web client. This method avoids truncated labels at the edges and discontinuities between tiles, but is more resource intensive. The default value is 5,5, an image whose width and height are equal to 5 times the width and height request.

  • Activating the cache client side

The Browser client cache option allows you to specify an expiration time for the tiles in the Web browser (Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, etc.) cache in seconds. When browsing the Lizmap map with the browser, it stores displayed tiles in its cache. Enable client cache can greatly optimize Lizmap because the browser does not re-request the server for tiles already in cache that are not expired.

We suggest to set to the maximum value (1 month equals to 24 x 3600 x 30 = 2,592,000 seconds), except of course for layers whose data changes often.


  • The cache must be activated only once mastered rendering, when you want to move the project into production.
  • The 2 cache modes, Server and Client, are completely independent of one another. But of course, it is interesting to use the two together to optimize the application and free server resources.

Centralizing the cache with the integration of groups and layers from a master project

In QGIS, it is possible to integrate in a project, groups or layers from another project (which will be called “parent”). This technique is interesting because it allows you to set the properties of the layers once in a project and use them in several other, for example for baselayers (In the “son” projects that integrate these layers, it is not possible to change the properties).

Lizmap uses this feature to centralize the tiles cache. For all son projects using integrated layers of the parent project, Lizmap requests QGIS-Server tiles from the parent project, not form son projects. The cache will be centralized at the parent project, and all son projects that use layers benefit shared cache.

To use this feature, you must:

  • publish the parent QGIS project with Lizmap
    • you must choose the right announced extent in the OWS Server tab from project properties, because this extent will be reused identically in son projects.
    • you must configure the cache for the layers to integrate. Also, note the options chosen here (image format, metatile, expiration) for use as such in the son projects.
    • It is possible to hide the project from the main page of Lizmap with the check box Hide the project Web Client Lizmap in the plugin ‘Map’ tab.
  • open the son project, and integrate layers or groups in this project, for example orthophoto. Then you must:
    • verify that the announced extent in the QGIS project properties / OWS Server is exactely the same as the parent project.
    • you must configure the cache for the integrated layer with exactly the same options as those selected from the parent project: image size, expiration, metatile.
    • you must set the Lizmap id of the Source repository of the parent project (The one configured in the Lizmap Web Client administration interface).
    • the code of the “Source project” (the name of the parent QGIS project without the .qgs extension) is automatically entered for layers and integrated groups.
  • Publish the son project to the Lizmap Web Client as usual.

Masking individual layers

You can exclude layers of your publication with the OWS Server tab of the QGIS project properties. In this case the layers will not be available in Lizmap. With this method, you cannot use a layer in the locate by layer function and not display in the map.

To overcome this lack Lizmap offers a simple way to not display some layers.

Not to display one or more layers of QGIS project in the legend of the Web map, just put these layers in a group called “hidden”. All the layers in this group will not be visible in the Web application.

This feature can be used for:

Show attribute table for Lizmap layers


Lizmap is designed to show spatial data in the main map, and you can propose users to see an object data through the “popup” feature (a small popup containing the objects data is shown whenever the user clicks on the map ). See How to configure popups

Sometimes this is not enough, and as a map editor, you would like the user to see all the data of a specific layer, as you can do in QGIS by opening the attribute table. Since Lizmap 2.11, you can propose such a feature for any vector layer published in you map. (This feature has been heavily enhanced since Lizmap 3.0. Many features described underneath are only available for Lizmap 3.0 )

Activate the attribute table tool for a vector layer

In the Tools tab of Lizmap plugin dialog, there is a group called “Attribute layers” which shows a table and some form fields dedicated to add or remove vector layers.

Lizmap Web Client uses the Web Feature Service (WFS) to get data from a QGIS vector layer and display it in the web interface. This is why the first thing to do whenever you want to show a layer data in the web client is to publish the vector layer through the WFS. To do so, open the Project properties dialog, got the the OWS Server tab, and add the layer as “published” by checking the corresponding checkbox in the Web Feature Service table, and save the project. You can also tune the number of decimals to decrease the size of data to be fetched from WFS ( keep 8 only for a map published in degrees, and keep 1 for map projections in meters )

Once the layer is published through WFS, you can add it in the attribute layers table. Some options are available to finely tune the features provided to the user:

  • Layer : Choose one of the vector layers (spatial or not). This can be any vector layer format : GeoJSON, Shapefile, PostGIS, CSV, etc.
  • Unique ID : The attribute table tool needs to be able to defined each feature as unique. We strongly advise you to add such a field if your layer has not one yet. Usually the unique ID field contains integers. If the layer do not have this kind of field, you can easily create it with the Field calculator. Choose the correct field with the combo box.
  • Fields to hide You have 2 ways of hiding fields in the published attribute table.
    • In the vector layer properties dialog of the QGIS vector layer, in the Fields tab, you can uncheck the checkbox of the column WFS for the fields to unpublish. This means this fields will not be published via the WFS protocol. This is the simplest and safiest way to restrict the publication to some fields (for example to get rid of sensitive fields)
    • You can use this Fields to hide option to hide the given fields in the attribute table display. The hidden fields won’t be visible for the end user, but will still be available for Lizmap Web Client. You must use this option to hide the Unique ID field. If you use the first way (uncheck WFS column), the unique ID won’t be usable by Lizmap, and some of the attribute table features will not work properly.

Using relations with the attribute layers tool

In QGIS, you can configure relations between layers, in the project properties dialog. If you publish in Lizmap more than one layers in the attribute layers tool, and if some layers are part of a relation, the end user will be able to see child tables under the parent layer table, and a click on one line in the parent table will trigger the filter of the child tables content.

For example, you could have a layer of cities, and a child layer of public building. Clicking on one city in the attribute table will make the public building child table refresh its content with only the public buildings of the clicked city.

Relations in QGIS is a great tool. But at the moment, you cannot configure “many-to-many” (N:M) relations. You can only create “one-to-many” (1:N) relations. In many cases, N:M relations are very handy. For example, you can have the three following vector layers in your project:

  • Tramway lines: this layers name “Lines” contains one feature per tram line, and has a unique ID field tram_id
  • Tramway stops: this layer named “Stops” contains one feature per tram stop, with a unique ID field called stop_id
  • Correspondance table between lines and stops: this layer named “Pivot” is a pivot table between tram lines and stops, since a stop can be used for more than one line, and a line serves many stops. It has the following fields: tram_id, stop_id and order which defines the order of the stop in the line.

You can add 2 relations in QGIS project properties : one between Lines and Pivot using the tram_id field, and one between Stops and Pivot using the stop_id field.

In Lizmap, we added a simple way to configure the N:M relation. You can simply

  • Create the two relations described above in QGIS project properties dialog, tab Relations
  • Add the Lines and Stops layers in the attribute layers tool
  • Add the Pivot layer in the attribute layers tool with the option Pivot table checked

Lizmap Web Client will then handle the relation as a N:M relation:

  • The pivot table will be displayed under each parent attribute table and show only the corresponding children.
  • The filter feature based on the attribute layers will trigger the cascading filter of the pivot and the other parent. For example, if the user uses the filter to show only one tramway line, Lizmap will also only show the corresponding stops in the map and in the Stops attribute tables

Attribute layers and edition


Editing data in Lizmap


Since version 2.8, it is possible to allow users to edit spatial and attribute data from the Lizmap Web Client interface for PostgreSQL or Spatialite layers of the QGIS project. The Lizmap plugin allows you to add one or more layers and choose what actions for each will be possible in the web interface:

  • creating elements
  • modifying attributes
  • modifying the geometry
  • deleting elements

The Web form presented to the user to populate the attribute table supports editing tools available in the fields tab of the QGIS Vector layer properties. You can configure a dropdown, hide a column, make it non-editable, use a check box, a text area, etc. All configuration is done with the mouse, in QGIS and the Lizmap plugin.

In addition, Lizmap Web Client automatically detects the column type (integer, real, string, etc.) and adds the necessary checks and controls on the fields.

Usage examples

  • A town wish that citizens identify visible problems on the road: uncollected trash, broken street lights, wrecks to remove. The QGIS project administrator creates a layer dedicated to collect data and displays them to all.
  • An engineering office wants to allow project partners to trace remarks on the project areas. It allows the addition of polygons in a dedicated layer.

Configuring the edition tool

To allow data editing in Lizmap Web Client, you must:

  • At least one vector layer with PostGIS or Spatialite type in the QGIS project.
  • Configure editing tools for this layer in the fields tab of the layer properties. This is not required but recommended to control the data entered by users.
  • Add the layer in the tool with the plugin

Here are the detailed steps:

  • If necessary, create a layer in your database with the desired geometry type (point, line, polygon, etc.)
    • think about adding a primary key: this is essential!
    • the primary key column must be of type auto-increment. For example serial to PostgreSQL.
    • think about adding a spatial index : this is important for performance
    • create as many fields as you need for attributes: if possible, use simple field names!

Please refer to the QGIS documentation to see how to create a spatial layer in a PostGIS or Spatialite database:

  • Set the editing tools for your layer fields
    • Open the layer properties by double-clicking on the layer name in the legend.
    • Go to Fields tab.
    • Select the Editing tool in the Edit widget column for each field of the layer:
      • To hide a field, choose Hidden. The user will not see the field in the form. There will be no content inserting. Use it for the primary key.
      • To add a read-only field, unchecked Editable checkbox.
      • Special case of the option Value Relation. You can use this option for a Lizmap map. For users to have access to information of the outer layer that contains the data, you must enable the publication of the layer as a WFS layer in the OWS Server tab of the QGIS project properties.
      • etc.
    • QGIS 2 evolutions :
      • To hide columns in the Lizmap popup, you must now uncheck the box in the WMS for each field to hide (this column is just after Alias)
      • Lizmap Web Client does not know yet use the “Drag and drop designer” for form generation. Therefore only use the Autogenerate mode for editing layers.


All the editing tools are not yet managed by Lizmap Web Client. Only the following tools are supported: Text edit, Classification, Range, Value Map, Hidden, Check Box, Date/Time, Value Relation. If the tool is not supported, the web form displays a text input field.


To make the field compulsory you have to define it as NOT NULL in the properties of the table, at the database level.

  • Add the layer in the table “Layer Editing” located in the plugin Lizmap “Tools” tab:
    • Select the layer in the drop-down list
    • Check the actions you want to activate from:
      • Create
      • Modify attributes
      • Modify geometry
      • Delete
    • Add the layer in the list with the “Add layer” button.

Reusing data of edition layers

The layers that you have selected for the editing tool are “layers like the others”, which means:

  • QGIS styles and labels are applied to these layers. You can create styles and labels that depend on a value of a layer column.
  • If you want to propose the editing tool, but does not allow users to view data from the online layer (and therefore the additions of other users): you can simply hide edition layers by putting them in a hidden directory. See Masking individual layers
  • The layers are printable if they are not masked.
  • The data are stored in a layer of the project. The administrator can retrieve this data and use them thereafter.


PostGIS or Spatialite? To centralize things, we recommend using a PostGIS database to store data. For Spatialite layers, be careful not to overwrite the Spatialite file stored in the Lizmap directory on the server with the one you have locally: remember always to make a backup of the server file before a new sync your local directory.


Using the cache: whether to use the server or client cache for editing layers, do so by knowingly: the data will not be visible to users until the cache has not expired. We suggest not to enable the cache for editing layers.


Lizmap 3 only

Adding files and images for features

With Lizmap 3, it is now possible to upload your files, including images, for each feature, during online editing; to achieve this, you need to:

  • Configure edition for the layer, with one or more fields with the edit type “Photo” or “File”. For example, let say the field name is “photo”

  • Create a folder at the root of the QGIS project file : media/ and a subfolder media/upload (obviously you need to do that locally in your computer and server side ).

  • Give Apache user (usually www-data) write permission on the upload folder, so that it can create files and folders in media/upload:

    chmod 775 -R media/upload && chown :www-data -R media/upload
  • Check you php.ini to see if the variables post_max_size and max_upload_size are correctly set (by default, php only allows uploading files up to 2 Mbyte)

Lizmap will then create folders to store the data, depending on the layer name, field name, etc. For example, a file would be stored in the folder media/upload/PROJECT_NAME/LAYER_NAME/FIELD_NAME/FILE_NAME.EXT and an image in media/upload/environment/observations/species_picture/my_picture.png.

Obviously you will be able to display this image (or any other file) in the popup, as it will be stored in the media folder. See Use in popups

Filtered layers - Filtering data in function of users

Presentation of the function

Usually, the management of projects Lizmap access rights is via directory. Configuration is done in this case in the Lizmap Web Client administration interface. See Define the rights for each group. This will completely hide some projects based on user groups, but requires a directory and project management.

Instead, the filtering feature presented here allows you to publish a single project QGIS, and filter the data displayed on the map based on the logged in user. It is possible to filter only vector layers because Lizmap uses a column in the attribute table.

Filtering currently uses the ID of the user group connected to the Web application. He is active for all requests to the QGIS server, and thus concerns:

  • the vector layers images displayed on the map
  • the popups
  • the Locate by layer feature lists. See Add the localization function
  • drop-down lists of Editing forms from Value relation. See Editing data in Lizmap
  • upcoming features (the attribute table display, search features, etc.)

A video tutorial is available at:

Configuration of the data filter tool

To use data filtering tool in Lizmap Web Client, you must:

  • use QGIS 2 and above on the server
  • have access to the administration interface of Lizmap Web Client

Here are the detailed steps to configure this feature:

  • Knowing the identifiers of user groups configured in the Lizmap Web Client adminstration interface. For this, you must go to the administration interface SYSTEM ‣ Groups of users for rights: ID appears in parentheses after the name of each group (under the title Groups of new users)

  • For all vector layers which is desired filter data, just add a text column that will hold the group ID for each line (not the name !!) who has the right to display this line.
    • Fill this column for each line of the attribute table with the identifier of the group who has the right to see the line (using the calculator, for example).
    • It is possible to set all as the value in some lines to disable the filter: All users will see the data from these lines.
    • If the value in this column for a row does not correspond to a user group, then the data will be displayed for no user.
  • Add the layer in the table Filter Data by User located in the plugin Lizmap Tools tab:

    • Select layer from the dropdown list
    • Select the field that contains the group identifier for the layer
    • Add the layer in the list with the button Add layer
    • To remove a layer of the table, click on it and click the button Delete the layer
  • Disable the client cache and cache server for all filtered layers. Otherwise, the data displayed will not be updated between each connection or user logout!

Time Manager - Animation of temporal vector layers

You can create animations of your vectors, provided you have at least a layer with a column with a valid date/time. You should select from the plugin:

  • at least one layer with the date/time
  • the column with the date/time
  • the number and type of time units for each step of the animation
  • the duration, in milliseconds, of each step (the default is to display each 10 days block for one second)
  • one field to display as a label when hovering with the mouse over the objects
  • optionally, an ID and a title for groups of objects.

When ready, your web application will display the symbol of a watch; clicking on it will open a small panel that will allow you to move between steps, or paly the entire animation. At startup, the application will load the entire table, so if you have thousands of objects you may need to wait for several seconds before the application is available.

A video tutorial is available here: It shows all the steps to use the functionality.

Demonstration site:


Several different formats for date/time are acceptable (those supported by the JavaScript library DateJS). You can check whether your format is supported by entering it in this page:

Changing the default image of a project in the repositories and projects site

By default the following image is displayed for a project:


You can change this default image by adding in the same project folder a .png image with the exact project name and extension. Example: If the project is called montpellier.qgs you can add an image named montpellier.qgs.png. Note that the image has the project extension too.