When going beyond modifying existing examples you might be looking for a way to setup your own code with dependency management together with external dependencies like OpenLayers.

This tutorial serves as a suggested project setup using NPM and Browserify for the most basic needs. There are several other options, and in particular you might be interested in a more modern one (ES2015) using Webpack with OpenLayers.

Initial steps

Create a new empty directory for your project and navigate to it by running mkdir new-project && cd new-project. Initialize your project using npm init and answer the questions asked.

Add OpenLayers as dependency to your application with npm install --save ol.

At this point you can ask NPM to add required development dependencies by running

npm install --save-dev cssify browserify cssify http-server uglify-js watchify
npm install --save-dev babelify babel-plugin-transform-es2015-modules-commonjs

We will be using cssify to include the css definitions required by OpenLayers in our bundle. watchify, http-server and uglify-js are used to monitor for changes and to build into a minified bundle. babelify and babel-plugin-transform-es2015-modules-commonjs are used to make the ol package, which was created using ES2015 modules, work with CommonJS.

Application code and index.html

Place your application code in index.js. Here is a simple starting point:

var ol_Map = require('ol/map').default;
var ol_layer_Tile = require('ol/layer/tile').default;
var ol_source_OSM = require('ol/source/osm').default;
var ol_View = require('ol/view').default;

var map = new ol_Map({
  target: 'map',
  layers: [
    new ol_layer_Tile({
      source: new ol_source_OSM()
  view: new ol_View({
    center: [0, 0],
    zoom: 0

You will also need an ├Čndex.html file that will use your bundle. Here is a simple example:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>Using Browserify with OpenLayers</title>
      #map {
        width: 400px;
        height: 250px;
    <div id="map"></div>
    <script src="bundle.js"></script>

Creating a bundle

With simple scripts you can introduce the commands npm run build and npm start to manually build your bundle and watch for changes, respectively. Add the following to the script section in package.json:

"scripts": {
  "start": "watchify index.js -g cssify --outfile bundle.js & http-server",
  "build": "browserify -g cssify index.js | uglifyjs --compress --output bundle.js"

Now to test your application open http://localhost:8080/ in your browser. watchify will update bundle.js whenever you change something. You simply need to reload the page in your browser to see the changes.

$ npm start

Note that bundle.js will contain your application code and all dependencies used in your application. From OpenLayers, it only contains the required components.