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Upgrade to Version 2.0

Upgrading to GeoBlacklight 2.0

While we suggest using the latest version of GeoBlacklight to take advantage of its modern features, sometimes you need to upgrade to an older release. GeoBlacklight 2.0 adds support for Blacklight 7.0, which itself includes several significant component upgrades:

The Bootstrap 3 to Bootstrap 4 migration will require existing GeoBlacklight installations to update any local view or layout customizations they have created. See the Blacklight guide on updating Bootstrap for additional assistance.

Blacklight 7 upgrades

Update User Model

With the release of Blacklight 7, the Blacklight::Utils Module has been deprecated. User Models must have the following removed:

class User < ApplicationRecord
  ## Please remove or comment this code:
  # if Blacklight::Utils.needs_attr_accessible?
  #   attr_accessible :email, :password, :password_confirmation
  # end

  # Connects this user object to Blacklights Bookmarks.
  include Blacklight::User
  # Include default devise modules. Others available are:
  # :confirmable, :lockable, :timeoutable, :trackable and :omniauthable
  devise :database_authenticatable, :registerable,
         :recoverable, :rememberable, :validatable

  # Method added by Blacklight; Blacklight uses #to_s on your
  # user class to get a user-displayable login/identifier for
  # the account.
  def to_s

Update CatalogController

Release 2.0 provides the ability to request JSON representations of Solr Documents by using the path /catalog/:id/raw In other words, append /raw to the end of a catalog URL stem. Note that this is different from previous versions of GeoBlacklight and is a result of Blacklight 7 incorporating a JSON:API compliant specification. Appending .json to the end of a catalog URL stem will now return a JSON:API compliant record, which is nested and not Solr compatible. For more information, see the metadata documentation.

The JSON record return is enabled within the CatalogController by setting config.raw_endpoint.enabled to true:

  configure_blacklight do |config|

    # Ensures that JSON representations of Solr Documents can be retrieved using
    # the path /catalog/:id/raw
    # Please see
    config.raw_endpoint.enabled = true

    ## Default parameters to send to solr for all search-like requests. See also SolrHelper#solr_search_params
    ## @see
    ## @see
    config.default_solr_params = {


Rails currently offers the ability for one to manage JavaScript source files and package dependencies using the Webpacker Gem. By default, this is available for usage in GeoBlacklight, but not enabled.


Webpacker requires that either Yarn or the Node Package Manager be installed in the environment where the GeoBlacklight implementation is deployed.

Installing Webpacker

From within the root directory path of the GeoBlacklight application, please execute the following:

bundle exec rails generate geoblacklight:webpacker --force

This will create a number of directories and files, most notably: - package.json - app/javascript/packs/application.js

Running yarn install or npm install, followed by yarn upgrade/npm update would be best in order to install and update any JavaScript dependencies.

Adding packs

In order to add JavaScript packs to a GeoBlacklight application, one should override the view template app/views/layouts/blacklight/base.html.erb (provided in with the following line:

    <%= javascript_include_tag "application" %>
    <%= javascript_pack_tag 'application' %>
    <%= csrf_meta_tags %>
    <%= content_for(:head) %>

For any new JS file added to app/javascript/packs, this will need to be added with a different name. For example, app/javascript/packs/my_new_script.js would be added with:

    <%= javascript_include_tag "application" %>
    <%= javascript_pack_tag 'application' %>
    <%= javascript_pack_tag 'my_new_script' %>
    <%= csrf_meta_tags %>
    <%= content_for(:head) %>

Running the Webpack server

Release 2.0 uses the Foreman Gem in order to run both the Rails server and Webpack development server in parallel. This is useful for development environments where the Webpack dev. server listens for source file changes, and automatically recompiles packs. A file (named Procfile) within the root path of the application should be created with the following content:

rails: bin/rails server --port=3000
webpack: bin/webpack-dev-server

This can then be executed using bundle exec foreman start.

For deployments to testing, staging, or production environments, it is perhaps preferred to simply precompile the Webpack builds. This can be achieved with the task bundle exec rails webpacker:compile

GeoBlacklight updates

Dropped leaflet-rails; Vendorized a rails-savvy leaflet.js file

To fix a Leaflet FeatureLayer asset path issue, we decided to remove leaflet-rails as a gem dependency. Instead of the gem, we're now using a slightly modified leaflet.js file in vendor/javascripts.

For existing GBL installations, you will need to remove the require leaflet-rails statement from lib/geoblacklight/engine.rb to avoid an error upon application restart.

Added Spatial Search BBox overlapRatio Relevancy Option

A new Settings constant was added to provide optional support for Solr's BBoxField overlapRatio relevancy boosting within spatial searches.

For existing GBL installations, you will need to add the Settings.OVERLAP_RATIO_BOOST setting to your settings.yml file.

    # The bf boost value for overlap ratio

If this option has a value, the boost will be appended to the spatial search like so:

      solr_params[:overlap] =
        "{!field uf=* defType=lucene f=solr_bboxtype score=overlapRatio}Intersects(#{envelope_bounds})"
      solr_params[:bf] = "$overlap^#{Settings.OVERLAP_RATIO_BOOST}"

Relevancy is Best Tuned Locally

Everyone's idea of relevancy is different. The default boost value here ("2") might not be the best for your collection or user needs. Please adjust this relevancy boost as necessary to ensure best results for your GBL install.


The _homepage_text.html.erb view partial has been updated to use a view component for rendering the featured facets feature. You should update any local customizations to this file to use the components.