Leaflet and Openlayers are two open source tools that can be used to develop web based GIS applicaitons. Test automation for such kind of applications is not straightforward due to the high degree of interactivity and the variety of resulting content: vector data drawings (svg, canvas), raster image rendering (map tiles in various formats).

Is there a way to automate such a testing process, includng output verification? Any platform/tool that can make such task easier?

Selenium seems to provide good client side automation by simulating mouse actions on the map but it does not provide any way of checking the correctness of the output.

1 Answer 1


You can use Selenium to develop automated tests for Web GIS applications.

Web GIS is all about present the information graphically to a user, and whatever we can see on a web page is what we can test using Selenium.

But it will be:

  • very time consuming to develop it
  • difficult to maintain

As one thing computer program can not perform as well as humans is computers can not interpret GUI effectively. GUI is designed for human to interpret.

I used to work for a company that developed commercial Web GIS applications. The Selenium testing framework we got can test:

  • all options are available, clickable
  • web page can navigate properly
  • if there is anything web elements missing? such as a button or an image
  • if there is a route that has been plotted between two addresses

But we can not test:

  • whether a plotted / calculated route is correct / shortest.

In short, GUI is impossible to be comprehensively tested using scripts, the best we could do is to smoke test it.

  • 1
    Smoke testing would already be better than nothing, if it automates the output verification.
    – a1an
    Jul 28, 2016 at 11:37

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