This tutorial will cover an installation from scratch of a uMap instance in an Ubuntu server.

You need sudo grants on this server, and it must be connected to Internet.

Install system dependencies

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3 python3-dev python3-venv virtualenv wget nginx uwsgi uwsgi-plugin-python3 postgresql gcc postgis libpq-dev

Note: nginx and uwsgi are not required for local development environment

Create deployment directories:

sudo mkdir -p /etc/umap

You can change this path, but then remember to adapt the other steps accordingly.

Create a Unix user

sudo useradd -N umap -m -d /srv/umap/

Here we use the name umap, but this name is up to you. Remember to change it on the various commands and configuration files if you go with your own.

Give umap user access to the config folder

sudo chown umap:users /etc/umap
sudo chown umap:users /srv/umap

Create a postgresql user

sudo -u postgres -D ~postgres createuser umap

Create a postgresql database

sudo -u postgres -D ~postgres createdb umap -O umap

Activate PostGIS extension

sudo -u postgres -D ~postgres psql umap -c "CREATE EXTENSION postgis"

Login as umap Unix user

sudo -u umap -i

From now on, unless we say differently, the commands are run as umap user.

Create a virtualenv and activate it

virtualenv /srv/umap/venv --python=/usr/bin/python3.10
. /srv/umap/venv/bin/activate

Note: this activation is not persistent, so if you open a new terminal window, you will need to run again this last line.

Install umap

pip install umap-project

Create a local configuration file

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/umap-project/umap/master/umap/settings/local.py.sample -O /etc/umap/umap.conf

Customize umap.conf

nano /etc/umap/umap.conf

Create the tables

umap migrate

Collect the statics

umap collectstatic

Create a superuser

umap createsuperuser

Start the demo server

umap runserver

You can now go to http://localhost:8000/ and try to create a map for testing.

When you're done with testing, quit the demo server (type Ctrl+C).

Configure the HTTP API

Now let's configure a proper HTTP server.


Create a file named /srv/umap/uwsgi_params, with this content (without making any change on it):

uwsgi_param  QUERY_STRING       $query_string;
uwsgi_param  REQUEST_METHOD     $request_method;
uwsgi_param  CONTENT_TYPE       $content_type;
uwsgi_param  CONTENT_LENGTH     $content_length;

uwsgi_param  REQUEST_URI        $request_uri;
uwsgi_param  PATH_INFO          $document_uri;
uwsgi_param  DOCUMENT_ROOT      $document_root;
uwsgi_param  SERVER_PROTOCOL    $server_protocol;
uwsgi_param  REQUEST_SCHEME     $scheme;
uwsgi_param  HTTPS              $https if_not_empty;

uwsgi_param  REMOTE_ADDR        $remote_addr;
uwsgi_param  REMOTE_PORT        $remote_port;
uwsgi_param  SERVER_PORT        $server_port;
uwsgi_param  SERVER_NAME        $server_name;

Then create a configuration file for uWSGI:

nano /srv/umap/uwsgi.ini

And paste this content. Double check paths and user name in case you have customized some of them during this tutorial. If you followed all the bits of the tutorial without making any change, you can use it as is:

uid = umap
gid = users
# Python related settings
# the base directory (full path)
chdir           = /srv/umap/
# umap's wsgi module
module          = umap.wsgi
# the virtualenv (full path)
home            = /srv/umap/venv

# process-related settings
# master
master          = true
# maximum number of worker processes
processes       = 4
# the socket (use the full path to be safe
socket          = /srv/umap/uwsgi.sock
# ... with appropriate permissions - may be needed
chmod-socket    = 666
stats           = /srv/umap/stats.sock
# clear environment on exit
vacuum          = true
plugins         = python3


Create a new file:

nano /srv/umap/nginx.conf

with this content:

# the upstream component nginx needs to connect to
upstream umap {
    server unix:///srv/umap/uwsgi.sock;

# configuration of the server
server {
    # the port your site will be served on
    listen      80;
    listen   [::]:80;
    listen      443 ssl;
    listen   [::]:443 ssl;
    # the domain name it will serve for
    server_name your-domain.org;
    charset     utf-8;

    # max upload size
    client_max_body_size 5M;   # adjust to taste

    # Finally, send all non-media requests to the Django server.
    location / {
        uwsgi_pass  umap;
        include     /srv/umap/uwsgi_params;

Remember to adapt the domain name.

Activate and restart the services

Now quit the umap session, simply by typing Ctrl+D.

You should now be logged in as your normal user, which is sudoer.

  • Activate the Nginx configuration file:

    sudo ln -s /srv/umap/nginx.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/umap
  • Activate the uWSGI configuration file:

    sudo ln -s /srv/umap/uwsgi.ini /etc/uwsgi/apps-enabled/umap.ini
  • Restart both services:

    sudo systemctl restart uwsgi nginx

Now you should access your server through your url and create maps:




  • Nginx logs are in /var/log/nginx/:

    sudo tail -f /var/log/nginx/error.log
    sudo tail -f /var/log/nginx/access.log
  • uWSGI logs are in /var/log/uwsgi:

    sudo tail -f /var/log/uwsgi/umap.log

Before going live

Add a real SECRET_KEY

In your local.py file, add a real secret and unique SECRET_KEY, and do not share it.

Remove DEMO flag

In your local.py:

DEBUG = False

Configure Nginx to serve statics and uploaded files:

In your nginx config:

location /static {
    autoindex off;
    access_log off;
    log_not_found off;
    sendfile on;
    gzip on;
    gzip_vary on;
    alias /path/to/umap/var/static/;   

location /uploads {
    autoindex off;
    sendfile on;
    gzip on;
    gzip_vary on;
    alias /path/to/umap/var/data/;
    # Exclude direct acces to geojson, as permissions must be
    # checked py django.
    location /uploads/datalayer/ { return 404; }

Configure social auth

Now you can login with your superuser, but you may allow users to user social authentication.

Configure default map center

In your local.py change those settings:


Activate statics compression

In your local.py, set COMPRESS_ENABLED = True, and then run the following command

umap compress

Optionally add COMPRESS_STORAGE = "compressor.storage.GzipCompressorFileStorage" and add gzip_static on directive to Nginx /static location, so Nginx will serve pregenerated files instead of compressing them on the fly.

Configure the site URL and short URL

In your local.py:

SITE_URL = "http://localhost:8019"
SHORT_SITE_URL = "http://s.hort"

Also adapt ALLOWED_HOSTS accordingly.

Configure X-Accel-Redirect

In order to let Nginx serve the layer geojsons but uMap still check the permissions, you can add this settings:


And then add this new location in your nginx config (before the / location):

location /internal/ {
    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_static on;
    alias /path/to/umap/var/data/;

Configure ajax proxy cache

uMap allows to use remote URL as data sources, but those URLs are not always CORS open, so this is why there is this "ajax-proxy" feature, where the URL is passed to the backend.

Additionally, there is a caching feature, which duration is configurable through frontend settings. Valid values are: disabled, 5 min, 1 hour, 1 day.

This configuration provides a mix option, where python deals with validating the URL and parsing the TTL parameter, and then it passes the hand to nginx which will serve the remote content.

So, roughly:

  • the client calls /ajax-proxy/?url=xxx&ttl=300
  • python will validate the URL (not internal calls…)
  • if UMAP_XSENDFILE_HEADER is set, then the python returns an empty response with the path /proxy/http://url plus it will set the cache TTL through the header X-Accel-Expires
  • this /proxy/ location is then handled by nginx

In Nginx:

  • add the proxy cache

    proxy_cache_path /tmp/nginx_ajax_proxy_cache levels=1:2 keys_zone=ajax_proxy:10m inactive=60m;
    proxy_cache_key "$uri$is_args$args";
  • add those locations (before the / location):

    location ~ ^/proxy/(.*) {
        add_header X-Proxy-Cache $upstream_cache_status always;
        proxy_cache ajax_proxy;
        proxy_cache_valid 1m;  # Default. Umap will override using X-Accel-Expires
        set $target_url $1;
        # URL is encoded, so we need a few hack to clean it back.
        if ( $target_url ~ (.+)%3A%2F%2F(.+) ){ # fix :// between scheme and destination
          set $target_url $1://$2;
        if ( $target_url ~ (.+?)%3A(.*) ){ # fix : between destination and port
          set $target_url $1:$2;
        if ( $target_url ~ (.+?)%2F(.*) ){ # fix / after port, the rest will be decoded by proxy_pass
          set $target_url $1/$2;
        add_header X-Proxy-Target $target_url; # For debugging
        proxy_read_timeout 10s;
        proxy_connect_timeout 5s;
        proxy_pass $target_url;
        proxy_intercept_errors on;
        error_page 301 302 307 = @handle_proxy_redirect;
    location @handle_proxy_redirect {
        set $saved_redirect_location '$upstream_http_location';
        proxy_pass $saved_redirect_location;

Add more tilelayers, pictograms…

Go to the admin: http://localhost:8020/admin/, and create the objects you want.