This is the technical documentation for Tangram’s global block. For a conceptual overview of the Tangram scene file, see the scene file page.

For the shader block, see global.

global

The global element is an optional top-level element in a Tangram scene file. It declares the beginning of the global block. It takes only one kind of parameter: a property. Any number of properties can be declared.

property

Optional key/value pair. Key can be any string, no default. Value can be any object, including another nested property, no default.

Global properties are user-defined properties in the scene file that can be substituted for values elsewhere in the file. This is useful for setting a value in multiple places in the scene file simultaneously. It’s also useful for setting important values at the top of the scene file, rather than inline. Examples include common colors, language preferences, or visibility flags used to tweak styles.

global:
   labels: true # label visibility flag

These properties can then be substituted elsewhere in the scene file with the global. syntax:

layers:
   water:
      data: { ... }
      visible: global.labels
layers:
   road-labels:
      data: { ... }
      draw:
         text:
            # display labels in preferred language, fallback to default name
            text_source: [global.language, name]

nesting

Properties can be nested:

global:
   colors: # group common colors together
      color1: red
      color2: green
      color3: blue

They can then be referenced with nested dot notation (global.group.property):

landuse:
    data: { ... }
    draw:
        polygons:
            color: global.colors.color2 # nested property
            ...

use in functions

Global properties are available in JS function filters and properties, using the same syntax:

layers:
   point-labels:
      data: { ... }
      draw:
         text:
            text_source: |
               function() {
                  // Make a compound label with "Preferred Name (Local Name)"
                  var preferred = feature[global.language];
                  if (preferred && preferred !== feature.name) {
                     return preferred + '\n(' + feature.name + ')';
                  }
                  return feature.name;
               }