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Show any changing geospatial data over time, from points to polygons.

If you want smooth motion of markers from point to point, this is not your plugin. Please check out LeafletPlayback, or for real-time data, try Leaflet Realtime, both plugins from which I may or may not have pilfered some ideas.


To run the examples locally, run npm run build and then open the one of the examples in docs/examples.


USGS provides GeoJSON(P) files with earthquake data, including time and magnitude. For this example, that data is read, parsed to the right format (start and end values in the GeoJSON properties), and added to a Leaflet.timeline.

Country borders after WWII

I found some historical country border data here, though unfortunately it was not in GeoJSON. I converted it with ogr2ogr:

$ ogr2ogr -f "GeoJSON" \
  borders.json cshapes.shp

then wrangled the data into the right format (docs/examples/borders-parse.js). After that, it was just a matter of passing the data to Leaflet.timeline and letting it handle everything.


There are actually two classes here. L.Timeline and L.TimelineSliderControl.


L.Timeline is a subclass of L.GeoJSON, so use it as you would that. The data you pass in should be something like this:

  "type": "FeatureCollection",
  "features": [
      "type": "Feature",
      "properties": {
        "start": "1970-01-01",
        "end": "2014-12-04"
      "geometry": { ... }

Though you can also pass in a getInterval function to parse the data as you wish. (see below)

The date can really be any numerical value -- if you're using this for timed data, a Unix timestamp (the ms version for easier JS usage) probably makes sense.


see also all GeoJSON's options

getInterval (Function -- optional)

This is a function which should return an object with start and end properties. By default it assumes a structure as above.

drawOnSetTime (Boolean -- optional, default true)

Make the layer draw as soon as setTime is called. If this is set to false, you will need to call updateDisplayedLayers() manually when you want it to actually update.



Fired when the selected time changes (either through manually sliding or through playback).


This is the actual control that allows playback and whatnot. It can control multiple L.Timelines.



default: earliest start in GeoJSON

The beginning/minimum value of the timeline.


default: latest end in GeoJSON

The end/maximum value of the timeline.


default: bottomleft

Position for the timeline controls. Probably doesn't really matter as you'll likely want to expand them anyway.


default: (date) -> date.toString()

A function that takes in a Unix timestamp and outputs a string. Ideally for formatting the timestamp, but hey, you can do whatever you want.


default: true

Show playback controls (i.e. prev/play/pause/next).


default: false

Allow playback to be controlled using the spacebar (play/pause) and right/left arrow keys (next/previous).


default: 1000

How many steps to break the timeline into. Each step will then be (end-start) / steps. Only affects playback.


default: 10000

Minimum time, in ms, for the playback to take. Will almost certainly actually take at least a bit longer -- after each frame, the next one displays in duration/steps ms, so each frame really takes frame processing time PLUS step time.


default: true

Show tick marks on slider (if the browser supports it), representing changes in value(s).


default: false

Wait until the user is finished changing the date to update the map. By default, both the map and the date update for every change. With complex data, this can slow things down, so set this to true to only update the displayed date.


default: false

Slider starts playing automatically after loading.



Sets the current timeline time. Will parse any dates in just about any format you throw at it.


Returns the original GeoJSON of the features that are currently being displayed on the map.


To get the project running locally, clone this repo and run these commands within the project folder:

npm install
npm test -- --watchAll

To view the examples, you'll need to build:

npm run build

Then open up the HTML files in the "docs/examples" folders in your browser.

Please create a pull request from your fork of the project, and provide details of the intent of the changes.

Change log


  • Bugfix: Prevent keyboard controls from triggering in other inputs or textareas (#146)


  • Minor package change (removing extra files)


  • Migrate to Typescript
  • Upgrade Diesal dependency to improve performance on large datasets


  • Add aria-labels (#136)
  • Add autoplay option (#116)


  • 100% test coverage
  • BUGFIX: times is no longer shared among all Timeline instances
  • Switch to pointer events for better mobile support (hopefully)
  • More build tweaks, including setting up a dev server


  • Completely rewrote in ES6
  • Overhauled build system with webpack
  • Separated layer from control, allowing the control to handle multiple layers at the same time
  • Added tests!


  • Build tweaks


  • Fixed a version check issue


  • Fixed an issue where removing the L.timeline would not remove the control


  • Fixed an issue where too wide of a range of dates would case playback to go backwards
  • Added options to pass in methods to handle the data, so you can use a different format if you want
  • Added a grunt build pipeline (thanks to @vencax for this and the two changes above)
  • Fixed a bug where next/previous buttons wouldn't work as expected if input wasn't sorted (.. by sorting the input)


  • Fixed Pause button not turning back into Play button on playback completion
  • Fixed clicks on control buttons zooming map
  • Fixed getDisplayed and event timing
  • Major performance improvements
  • Add waitToUpdateMap option to allow dragging the slider without updating the map until user is done


  • Added previous/next/pause
  • Change behavior of play button (will play from wherever it is rather than reset to the beginning)
  • Lots of code restructuring
  • Add more extensive default styling, using Sass


  • It kinda works?

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