As explained in the key concepts section, CARTO uses as the client-side visualization library. Therefore, using will be a requirement if your application needs to visualize geospatial data coming from your connections in CARTO.

About is an open source visualization library designed for large-scale geospatial datasets. It's powered by WebGL2 and WebGPU, achieving incredible visual results with high performance. It's part of the framework, integrated into the OpenJS Foundation.

CARTO is a lead contributor as well as a member of the technical steering committee of

Using CARTO +

At a high level, these are the building blocks you will use when building visualizations with CARTO +

  • The CARTO module ( This is a submodule created and maintained by CARTO that allows you to easily use data from your CARTO-connected data warehouses in Learn more about the CARTO module.

  • Core functionalities: Layers built using the CARTO module are integrated into a regular canvas and inherit properties from other base layers. If you're not familiar with we recommend you to check the official documentation.

  • Other functionalities: is an amazing framework with endless possibilities such as transitions, extensions and integrations that allow you to build incredible full-blown interactive applications such as our examples, this story map or this application.

The CARTO module

Inside the CARTO module ( you will find the following components:

  • Data Sources to fetch data from your data warehouse (including live SQL queries), solving authentication to your CARTO organization and your data warehouse

  • Tile Layers to build your visualization, using tiles to automatically solve performance and scalability for different types of data, such as:

    • Vector data

    • H3 data

    • Quadbin data

    • Raster data

  • Style helpers: Built-in methods to quickly build data-driven visualizations, using a set of curated high-contrast color palettes known as CARTO colors.

  • Basemaps: CARTO provides a set of free basemaps using OpenStreetMap data, but you can also use Google Maps, Amazon Location or other custom basemaps.

  • Fetch map: A method to quickly re-use layers from your Builder maps in your application.

You can find the reference for the CARTO module ( in the documentation.

Getting started

To get started, we recommend checking the CARTO + examples and the official CARTO `+ reference.

What's new

To stay up-to-date with the latest releases of and the CARTO module you should check:


Our community in Slack is a great place to ask questions, share your work with other CARTO users, and get help from CARTO experts. Join here ⬇️

Last updated