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Controlling Terria with URL parameters

Many aspects of TerriaJS (and hence TerriaMap, NationalMap, and others) can be configured by the end user by passing URL parameters. Combine them like this:

  • The base URL, then a #
  • Then the first parameter
  • Then repeatedly: a &, and the next parameter

For example:

Display parameters

Parameter Meaning
clean Don't load the default init/catalog file for this site.
map=2d Use the 2D (Leaflet) map, instead of the default.
map=3d Use the 3D (Cesium) map, instead of the default.
map=3dSmooth Use the 3D (Cesium) map without terrain, instead of the default.
playStory=1 Automatically start playing the map's Story, if there is one.
hideWorkbench=1 Collapse the workbench (left side) panel, useful for embedding. Also automatically plays a story, if there is one.
mode=preview Operate in "preview mode", which mostly means not showing a warning if the screen is small
share=... Load a map view previously saved using the "Share" function with URL shortening.
start=... Load a map view previously saved without URL shortening. The argument is a URL-encoded JSON structure defined using an internal format described below.
<initfile> Load init/catalog file as described below. This can be a URL to an init file - or an "init fragment" (eg simple - which resolves to init/simple.json). See initFragmentPaths in client side config parameters
hideWelcomeMessage Forces the welcome message not to be displayed.
ignoreErrors=1 Ignore all error messages.
configUrl=... Overwrite Terria config URL in dev environment only.

Catalog files (init files)

Any unrecognised parameter (eg foo or is treated as an "Init Source". These can be Init Fragments (eg foo) or Init URLs (eg

Init fragments are resolved using Client-side config parameters.initFragmentPaths (which defaults to "init/"). For example, foo would become init/foo.json

Multiple catalog files can be loaded this way, and will be combined. Files are loaded in order provided.

Note: relative URLs (and relative init fragments) in hash are resolved using base URL of the map - where as relative URLs in Client-side config initializationUrls and resolved using base URL of config URL

For example, will load init file

Full Init file docs are available here

Start data (ShareData)

Full ShareData docs are available here

The start= parameter essentially embeds an entire init/catalog file in the URL. The format is:

    "version": "8.0.0",
    "initSources": [
            "catalog": [
            "homeCamera": {
                "west": ...,
                "south": ...,
                "east": ...,
                "north": -...
            "viewerMode": "3d"

The exact structure changes as features are added. The best way to understand it is:

  1. Adjust the view as desired
  2. Generate a share link
  3. URL-decode the share link (using a tool such as this).