This chapter will introduce you to the main concepts of Mapbender3. After reading you should have an understanding of the parts Mapbender3 is made of and how they interact.


The application is a single Mapbender3 configuration which is usually used as an interactive web map. It’s what was called a GUI in Mapbender 2.

Every application consists of several components:

  • Element
  • Layersets
  • Application Template


Elements are the building blocks of every application. Each element provides some functionality and can interact with other elements. The map element is probably the element you face most of the time as it provides all map viewing capabilities.

Each element consists of four parts itself:

  • PHP class - describes the element with it’s capabilities and also can provide an Ajax callback point, so that the client side widget (see below) can execute database queries and display the result for example.
  • JavaScript widget - this is the client side part of an element. It’s everything you do and interact with on your screen. Using Ajax, it can call it’s server-side counterpart to do things like database queries.
  • Template - HTML the element is using. In the most basic version, this would just be a DIV, but it can be as complex as is needed.
  • CSS - of course, most elements want some style, so they may provide their own.

Application Template

Each application is an HTML page, and the application template renders the basic layout of that page. Each application can have a different template as needed. Think of HTML templates specialised for mobile viewing.


The frontend is basically the application view of your Mapbender3 installation. This includes the application list and each application view. It’s what your users will interact with.


The backend is where you configure your Mapbender3 installation. It’s called the manager and allows your admins to manage users, roles, services, applications and elements.