Developed by the Association For Neighborhood and Housing Development, Inc. (ANHD), the Displacement Alert Project (DAP) is to be an important new organizing, advocacy, and policy development tool that provides crucial information about recent building transactions where tenants might be facing excessive displacement pressure.



Working With CartoDB’s Named Maps API

Named Maps are what you use to can create interactive maps from private tables in CartoDB. Most of the time maps made with CartoDB.JS use public tables. However, with a paid account you have the option to make custom mapping applications using your private tables. The following describes how this process works.

The following commands are intended to be run on the command line but could also be run using an app like Postman. Replace {anhd-api-key} with the actual API key found in the CartoDB account.

Creating a named map

Requires using a config file, here it’s called template.json, see the example in the repo.

curl -X POST \
   -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
   -d @template.json \

# response to the above POST should look like:

Instantiating the Named Map

We actually don’t need to do this by making an API call for our use case as we instantiate it with the cartodb.createLayer() method which is passed a Named Map layerSource config object in the client.

If you’d like to do this via an API call then you would need to pass a params.json file containing values for placeholders in the config file. If you don’t want to override the default values, just have an empty object in params.json when making the API call.

Sample API call:

curl -X POST \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d @params.json \

# sample response:
# "layergroupid":"anhdnyc@3ce3cc8d@d18b4ae3f34028a99ea3db066a60a612:1459188148983"
# "last_updated":"2016-03-28T18:02:28.983Z"

Use the value for layergroupid to fetch the map tiles. The tile URL would then look like:{z}/{x}/{y}.png

Updating a named map

Say you decide to make changes to the Named Map such as SQL, CartoCSS, placeholders, etc. Use a PUT action to modify it with the updated config file. Note that the the value for name from the config file must be the same as on the query string to the API call.

curl -X PUT \
  '{anhd-api-key}' \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d @template.json

# response to the above PUT should look like:  
# {"template_id":"samp_test"}

Deleting a named map

curl -X DELETE '{anhd-api-key}'


See the following links for more info on Named Maps as well as some examples using Named Maps with CartoDB.JS:

Compiling the CartoCSS

To make it easier to update CartoCSS in the app, individual .mss files for each layer are stored in app/assets/cartocss. A Node.JS script, convert-cartocss.js, concatenates these separate files into a single javascript file which can be used by the app.

To run the script, make sure you have Node.JS installed and then do:
node convert-cartocss.js

If all goes well it will create the file carto.js in app/js.

NOTE: Currently the script does not ignore font-family names, so you will need to change a font name like “DejaVuSansBook” to “DejaVu Sans Book” after running the script. Otherwise CartoDB won’t recognize the font name and the CartoCSS will break without warning.