QWC2 can be configured to use arbitrary custom search providers. In addition, the qwc-fulltext-search-service provided by the qwc-services ecosystem can be used.

Adding search providers

Search providers can be defined as follows:

  • Built-in, defined in js/SearchProviders.js. This file is structured as follows:
export const SearchProviders = {
    <providerkey1>: <ProviderDefinition1>,
    <providerkey2>: <ProviderDefinition2>,

Built-in search providers are compiled into the application bundle and avoid the need for an extra resource to be loaded on application startup. The downside is that you need to rebuild QWC2 to add/modify search providers.

  • As resource, defined in static/assets/searchProviders.js. This file is structured as follows:
window.QWC2SearchProviders = {
    <providerkey1>: <ProviderDefinition1>,
    <providerkey2>: <ProviderDefinition2>,

This script file needs to be loaded explicitly by index.html via

<script type="text/javascript" src="assets/searchProviders.js" ></script>

The format of ProviderDefinition is

  label: "<human readable provider name>", // OR
  labelmsgid: "<translation message ID for human readable provider name>",
  onSearch: function(searchText, searchParams, callback, axios) => {
    const results = []; // See below
    /* Populate results... */
    callback({results: results});
  getResultGeometry: function(resultItem, callback, axios) => {
    /* Retreive geometry... */
    // resultItem is a search result entry as returned by onSearch, which provides the context for retreiving the geometry
    const geometry = "<wktString>";
    // or
    const geometry = {<GeoJSON geometry>};

    const crs = "EPSG:XXXX";
    const hidemarker = <boolean>; // Whether to suppress displaying a search marker on top of the search geometry
    callback({geometry: geometry, crs: crs, hidemarker: hidemarker});
  handlesGeomFilter: <boolean>; // Hint whether provider will completely filter the results on provider side and that no client-side filtering is necessary


  • The format of searchParams is
  displaycrs: "EPSG:XXXX", // Currently selected mouse coordinate display CRS
  mapcrs: "EPSG:XXXX", // The current map CRS
  lang: "<code>", // The current application language, i.e. en-US or en
  cfgParams: <params> // Additional parameters passed in the theme search provider configuration, see below
  filterBBox: <[xmin, ymîn, xmax, ymax]|null> // A filter bbox, in mapcrs, the search component may pass to the provider to narrow down the results
  filterPoly: <[[x0, y0], [x1, y1], ....]> // A filter polygon, in mapcrs, the search component may pass to the provider to narrow down the results
  • axios is passed for convenience so that providers can use the compiled-in axios library for network requests.

  • The format of the results list returned by onSearch is as follows:

results = [
    id: "<categoryid>",                   // Unique category ID
    title: "<display_title>",             // Text to display as group title in the search results
    priority: priority_nr,                // Optional: search result group priority. Groups with higher priority are displayed first in the list.
    items: [
      {                                   // Location search result:
        type: SearchResultType.PLACE,     // Specifies that this is a location search result
        id: "<itemId">,                   // Unique item ID
        text: "<display text>",           // Text to display as search result
        label: "<map marker text>",       // Optional, text to show next to the position marker on the map instead of `text`
        x: x,                             // X coordinate of result
        y: y,                             // Y coordinate of result
        crs: crs,                         // CRS of result coordinates and bbox
        bbox: [xmin, ymin, xmax, ymax]    // Bounding box of result (if non-empty, map will zoom to this extent when selecting result)
        geometry: <GeoJSON geometry>      // Optional, result geometry. Note: geometries may also be fetched separately via getResultGeometry.
      {                                    // Theme layer search result (advanced):
        type: SearchResultType.THEMELAYER, // Specifies that this is a theme layer search result
        id: "<itemId">,                    // Unique item ID
        text: "<display text>",            // Text to display as search result
        layer: {<Layer definition>}        // Layer definition, in the same format as a "sublayers" entry in themes.json.

Consult js/SearchProviders.js and static/assets/searchProviders.js for full examples.


When using the SearchBox search component with allowSearchFilters: true passed in the TopBar searchOptions, you a filter menu will be displayed allowing to restrict the search area.

If the provider does not fully handle the filter geometry internally (handlesGeomFilter != true), client-side filtering will be performed as follows:

  1. Polygon intersection test if the result has a geometry field with a Polygon geometry
  2. Polygon intersection test if the result has a bbox field
  3. Point-in-polygon test using the results x and y point coordinates

You can also set a predefined list of filter areas by setting searchFilterRegions in config.json (or per-theme in themesConfig.json) as follows:

"searchFilterRegions": [
    "name": "<Group name>",
    "items": [
        "name": "<Name>",
        "crs": "<EPSG:XXXX>",
        "coordinates": [[x0, y0], [x1, y1], ...]

## Configuring theme search providers

For each theme item in `themesConfig.json`, you can define a list of search providers to enable for the theme as follows:
searchProviders: [
  "<providerkey1>",             // Simple form
  {                             // Provider with custom params
    "provider": "<providerkey2>",
    "params": {
      ...                       // Arbitrary params passed to the provider `onSearch` function as `searchParams.cfgParams`
  {                             // Fulltext search configuration using qwc-fulltext-search-service
    "provider":"solr",          // Identifier for solr search provider
    "default":[<default terms>] // Default search terms, concatenated with additional search terms from visible theme layers

Note: The qwc2-demo-app (also used by the qwc-map-viewer-demo docker image) includes three providers by default: coordinates, nominatim (OpenStreetMap location search), and qgis (see below).

The QGIS feature search relies on WMS GetFeatureInfo with the FILTER parameter to search features of layers which are part of the theme WMS. It is enabled via the qgis search provider, which is part of the qwc2-demo-app.

In it's simples form, you can configure the theme search provider entry as follows:

    "provider": "qgis",
    "params": {
      "title": "<search name>",
      "expression": {
        "<layername1>": "<expression>",
        "<layername2>": "<expression>"

where expression is a WMS GetFeatureInfo FILTER expression, for example "\"name\" ILIKE '%$TEXT$%'". $TEXT$ will be replaced by the search text entered by the user, name corresponds to a field name of the specified layer.

A more complex form, useable through the FeatureSearch plugin, allows defining a field configuration for multiple input fields. A full example is as follows:

    "provider": "qgis",
    "params": {
      "title": "Person search",
      "expression": {
        "persons": "\"name\" ILIKE '%$NAME$%' AND \"age\" >= $AGE$ AND \"gender\" = '$GENDER$'"
      "fields": {
        "NAME": {"label": "Name", "type": "text"},
        "AGE": {"label": "Min. age", "type": "number", "options": {"min": 0}},
        "GENDER": {"label": "Gender", "type": "select", "options": [{"value": "f", "label": "Female"}, {"value": "m", "label": "Male"}]}

Here, each field will provide a value which is substituted in the expression. Any HTML Input type is supported (i.e. text, number, range, ...), with options depending on the input type. In addition, the select field type is supported to display a ComboBox, with the entries provided as options as in the example above. It is also possible to pass a flat list as options, i.e. ["Female", "Male"] if the value is equal to the label.

Note: qgis provider searches are exposed to the search field only if no fields are specified (i.e. single input search). The FeatureSearch plugin on the other hand will list all qgis provider searches.

In addition to the configuration described above, you can specify these additional parameters in params:

  • featureCount: A number, passed as feature_count to the GetFeatureInfo request to control the maximum number of returned features. If not specified, defaults to 100.
  • resultTitle: A format string for the result title. Allowed placeholders are: {layername} for the layer name and {<fieldname>} for the value of fieldname. If not the layer name followed by the feature displayfield will be shown.
  • description: An arbitrary descriptive text which will be displayed above the search fields in the FeatureSearch plugin.
  • default: Whether the search is selected by default when opening the FeatureSearch plugin.
  • group: A group name, used to group the searches in the FeatureSearch selection combobox.

Configuring the fulltext search service

Solr configuration

Before the fulltext search service can be configured, a new solr configuration file must be created. This file must be created in volumes/solr/configsets/gdi/conf/. The name of the file can be chosen freely. Here is an example XML file:

        <entity name="{SEARCH_NAME}" query="
            WITH index_base AS (
                /* ==== Base query for search index ==== */
                    '{SEARCH_NAME}'::text AS subclass,
                    {PRIMARY_KEY} AS id_in_class,
                    '{PRIMARY_KEY}' AS id_name,
                    '{SEARCH_FIELD_DATA_TYPE}:n' AS id_type,
                    {DISPLAYTEXT} AS displaytext,
                    {SEARCH_FIELD_1} AS search_part_1,
                    {GEOMETRY_FIELD} AS geom
                /* ===================================== */
                (array_to_json(array_append(ARRAY[subclass::text], id_in_class::text)))::text AS id,
                displaytext AS display,
                search_part_1 AS search_1_stem,
                search_part_1 AS sort,
                subclass AS facet,
                'default' AS tenant,
                (array_to_json(array_append(ARRAY[id_name::text], id_type::text)))::text AS idfield_meta,
                (st_asgeojson(st_envelope(geom), 0, 1)::json -> 'bbox')::text AS bbox,
                st_srid(geom) as srid
            FROM index_base">

The next table shows how the values need to be defined:

Name Definition Example
DB_HOST Database hostname qwc-postgis
DB_NAME Database name qwc_demo
DB_PORT Database port number 5432
DB_USER Database username qwc_service
DB_PASSWORD Password for the specified database user qwc_service
SEARCH_NAME Name of the search fluesse_search
PRIMARY_KEY Primary key name of the table that is used in the search query ogc_fid
SEARCH_FIELD_DATA_TYPE Search field data type str
DISPLAYTEXT Displaytext that will be shown by the QWC2 when a match was found name_long
SEARCH_FIELD_1 Table field that will be used by the search name_long
GEOMETRY_FIELD Name of the geometry column of the search table wkb_geometry
SCHEMA Search table schema qwc_geodb
SEARCH_TABLE_NAME Search table name fluesse

Note: In the case of several searches sharing the same database connection, all searche queries can be written to the same XML file. Each search corresponds to exactly one <entity> tag in the XML file.

After the configuration file has been created, the search must be registered in solr. In the volumes/solr/configsets/gdi/conf/solrconfig.xml file you have to look for <!-- SearchHandler and add the following configuration

<requestHandler name="/SEARCH_NAME" class="solr.DataImportHandler">
    <lst name="defaults">
        <str name="config">NAME_OF_THE_CONFIGURATION_FILE.xml</str>

Finally, the solr index has to be generated:

rm -rf volumes/solr/data/*
docker compose restart qwc-solr
curl 'http://localhost:8983/solr/gdi/SEARCH_NAME?command=full-import'

Configure fulltext service

The configuration of the fulltext search service can be found in tenantConfig.json. Search the services list for the JSON object that has search as its name. Then add a new facet to the facets list. An example entry could be:

    "name": "search",
    "config": {
        "solr_service_url": "http://qwc-solr:8983/solr/gdi/select",
        "search_result_limit": 50,
        "db_url": "postgresql:///?service=qwc_geodb"
    "resources": {
        "facets": [
                "name": "SEARCH_NAME",
                "filter_word": "OPTIONAL_SEARCH_FILTER",
                "table_name": "SCHEMA.SEARCH_TABLE_NAME",
                "geometry_column": "GEOMETRY_FIELD",
                "search_id_col": "PRIMARY_KEY"

The filter_word field can be specified to activate / deactivate searches, if you have configure multiple searches for one theme. Normally filter_word is left empty ("") which results in the search always being active. But if specified (e.g. "house_no") then the fulltext search will only use the configured search, if the user prefixes his search text with "house_no:".

Activate search for a theme

As a final step, you have to configure the search for the desired themes and give the users the necessary rights in the Admin GUI.

  1. Add the following to a theme item in themesConfig.json:
"searchProviders": [
        "provider": "solr",
        "default": [<SEARCH_NAME>],
        "layers": {
            "<layer_name>": "<SEARCH_NAME>"

When activating a search to a theme, you can either:

  • Add the search name to the default list, resulting in the search always being active.
  • Add the search name to the layers object, resulting in the search being active only if the theme layer <layer_name> is present in the theme.

  • Create a new resource in the Admin GUI

Create resource

  1. Add permissions on the newly created resource

Add permission

  1. Re-generate the services configurations with the Generate service configuration button

Generate service configurations