Developer Guide


Potentially some adjustment necessary to fit “new” structure:

Developer Guide

  • Create new EnMAP-Box Application
    • Setup
    • QtApp
    • GeoAlgo
  • Managing EnMAP-Box (aktuell API - Quick Start)

EnMAP-Box Applications are normal python programs that can be called

  • directly from EnMAP-Box GUI, e.g. via special tool buttons or context menues, or
  • the QGIS Processing Framework as a QgsProcessingAlgorithm of the EnMAPBoxAlgorithmProvider

EnMAP-Box applications can interact with a running EnMAP-Box instance via the EnMAP-Box API, and, for example, open new raster images in an EnMAP-Box map canvas or read the list of data sources.

The following tutorial refers to the example Application in examples/exampleapp. You might copy, rename and modify this to fit to your own needs and create your own EnMAP-Box Application.

Initialize a new EnMAP-Box Application

An EnMAP-Box Application derives from the EnMAPBoxApplication class and sets the class variables name and version. The variable license defaults to GNU GPL-3` but might be change to the needs of your application:

from qgis.PyQt.QtGui import QIcon
from qgis.PyQt.QtWidgets import QMenu, QAction, QWidget, QHBoxLayout, QLabel, QPushButton
from enmapbox.gui.applications import EnMAPBoxApplication
from qgis.core import *

VERSION = '0.0.1'
APP_DIR = os.path.dirname(__file__)

APP_NAME = 'My First EnMAPBox App'

class ExampleEnMAPBoxApp(EnMAPBoxApplication):
    This Class inherits from an EnMAPBoxApplication
    def __init__(self, enmapBox, parent=None):
        super(ExampleEnMAPBoxApp, self).__init__(enmapBox, parent=parent)

        #specify the name of this app = APP_NAME

        #specify a version string

        self.version = VERSION

        #specify a licence under which you distribute this application
        self.licence = LICENSE

Define an Application Menu

To become accessible via a menu of the EnMAP-Box, the application needs to implement the menu() function that returns a QAction or QMenu with multiple QActions. By default, the returned QAction or QMenu is added to the EnMAP-Box “Application” menu where a user can click on to start the Application or to run different parts of your application

The connection between a single QAction and other parts of your code is realized using the Qt Signal-Slot concept, as in this minimum example that you can run in a single python script:

from PyQt4.QtGui import *
from PyQt4.QtCore import *

if __name__ == '__main__':

    app = QApplication([])

    def myFunction(*args):
        print('Function called with arguments: {}'.format(args))

    menu = QMenu()
    a = menu.addAction('Without arguments')

    a = menu.addAction('With arguments')
    a.triggered.connect(lambda : myFunction(0,8,15))

The ExampleEnMAPBoxApp uses this mechanism to define an application menu:

def menu(self, appMenu):
    Returns a QMenu that will be added to the parent `appMenu`
    :param appMenu:
    :return: QMenu
    assert isinstance(appMenu, QMenu)
    Specify menu, submenus and actions that become accessible from the EnMAP-Box GUI
    :return: the QMenu or QAction to be added to the "Applications" menu.

    # this way you can add your QMenu/QAction to an other menu entry, e.g. 'Tools'
    # appMenu ='Tools')

    menu = appMenu.addMenu('My Example App')

    #add a QAction that starts a process of your application.
    #In this case it will open your GUI.
    a = menu.addAction('Show ExampleApp GUI')
    assert isinstance(a, QAction)

    return menu

Define QgsProcessingAlgorithms for the EnMAPBoxAlgorithm Provider

Your Application might provide ojne or more QgsProcessingAlgorithms for the QGIS Processing Framework. This, for example, allow to use your algorithms within the QGIS Processing Toolbox. To add these QgsProcessingAlgorithms to the EnMAP-Box Algorithm Provider, your EnMAPBoxApplication might implement the geoAlgorithms().

For the sake of simplicity, let’s have an function that just prints a dictionary of input arguments:

def printDictionary(parameters):
    An algorithm that just prints the provided parameter dictionary
    for key, parameter in parameters.items():
        print('{} = {}'.format(key, parameter))

A QgsProcessingAlgorithm to call it might look like this:

class ExampleGeoAlgorithm(QgsProcessingAlgorithm):

    def __init__(self):

        super(ExampleGeoAlgorithm, self).__init__()
        s = ""

    def createInstance(self):
        return ExampleGeoAlgorithm()

    def name(self):
        return 'exmaplealg'

    def displayName(self):
        return 'Example Algorithm'

    def groupId(self):

        return 'exampleapp'

    def group(self):
        return APP_NAME

    def initAlgorithm(self, configuration=None):
        self.addParameter(QgsProcessingParameterRasterLayer('pathInput', 'The Input Dataset'))
        self.addParameter(QgsProcessingParameterNumber('value','The value', QgsProcessingParameterNumber.Double, 1, False, 0.00, 999999.99))
        self.addParameter(QgsProcessingParameterRasterDestination('pathOutput', 'The Output Dataset'))

    def processAlgorithm(self, parameters, context, feedback):

        assert isinstance(parameters, dict)
        assert isinstance(context, QgsProcessingContext)
        assert isinstance(feedback, QgsProcessingFeedback)

        outputs = {}
        return outputs

To add ExampleGeoAlgorithm to the EnMAPBoxGeoAlgorithmProvider, just define the geoAlgorithms() like this:

def geoAlgorithms(self):
    This function returns the QGIS Processing Framework GeoAlgorithms specified by your application
    :return: [list-of-GeoAlgorithms]

    return [ExampleGeoAlgorithm()]

Calling the ExampleGeoAlgorithm from the QGIS Processing Toolbox should create a printout on the IDE / QGIS python console like this:

pathInput = <qgis._core.QgsRasterLayer object at 0x0000018AA3C47A68>
pathOutput = <QgsProcessingOutputLayerDefinition {'sink':C:/Users/ivan_ivanowitch/AppData/Local/Temp/processing_cb76d9820fc64087aa8264f0f8505334/642d8e0abb764557881346399dda9c68/pathOutput.bsq, 'createOptions': {'fileEncoding': 'System'}}>
value = 1.0

Create a Graphical User Interface

The startGUI() function is used to open the graphical user interface. A very simple GUI could look like this:

def onButtonClicked():
    print('Button was pressed')

w = QWidget()
w.layout().addWidget(QLabel('Hello World'))
btn = QPushButton()
btn.setText('click me')

A GUI quickly becomes too complex to be programmed line-by-line. In this case it is preferred to use the QDesigner and to draw the GUI. The GUI definition is saved in an *.ui XML file, which that can be translated into PyQt code automatically.

Managing EnMAP-Box (API Quick Start)

Access the EnMAP-Box

Start the EnMAP-Box from scratch:

from enmapbox.gui.enmapboxgui import EnMAPBox
from enmapbox.gui.utils import initQgisApplication

qgsApp = initQgisApplication()
enmapBox = EnMAPBox(None)


The EnMAPBox object is designed as singleton, i.e. only one EnMAPBox instance can exist per thread. If there is already an existing EnMAP-Box instance, you can connect to like this:

from enmapbox.gui.enmapboxgui import EnMAPBox
enmapBox = EnMAPBox.instance()

Finally, shut down the EnMAP-Box instance:

enmapBox = EnMAPBox.instance()

Manage Data Sources

Add a new data sources

To add a new data source to the EnMAP-Box just support its file-path or, more generally spoken, its unified resource identifier (uri):

enmapBox = EnMAPBox.instance()

List existing data sources

The EnMAP-Box differentiates between Raster, Vector, SpectraLibraries and HUB-DataCube and other files-based data sources. The data sources known to the EnMAP-Box can be listed like this:

enmapBox = EnMAPBox.instance()

# print all sources
for source in enmapBox.dataSources():

# print raster sources only
for source in enmapBox.dataSources('RASTER'):

Remove data sources

Use the data source path to remove it from the EnMAP-Box:

enmapBox = EnMAPBox.instance()

#or remove multiple sources

Manage Windows

The EnMAP-Box provides different windows to visualize different data sources. You can create a new windows with:

enmapBox = EnMAP-Box.instance()
enmapBox.createDock('MAP')  # a spatial map
enmapBox.createDock('SPECLIB') # a spectral library
enmapBox.createDock('TEXT') # a text editor
enmapBox.createDock('WEBVIEW') # a browser
enmapBox.createDock('MIME') # a window to drop mime data

Interact with the EnMAP-Box

This example shows how the Qt Signal-Slot system can be used to react on EnMAP-Box events:

class ExampleDialog(QDialog):
    def __init__(self, parent=None):
        super(ExampleDialog, self).__init__(parent=parent)

        # self.setParent(enmapBox.ui)
        self.btn = QPushButton('Clear')
        self.label = QLabel('This Box will shows data sources newly added to the EnMAP-Box.')
        self.tb = QPlainTextEdit()
        self.tb.setPlainText('Click "Project" > "Add example data"\n or add any other data source to the EnMAP-Box')
        l = QVBoxLayout()


    def onSignal(self, src):
        import datetime
        t =
        text = self.tb.toPlainText()
        text = '{}\n{} : {}'.format(text, t.time(), src)

enmapBox = EnMAPBox.instance()
d = ExampleDialog(parent=enmapBox.ui)
d.setFixedSize(QSize(600, 300))

#connect different signals to a slot

Create EnMAP-Box Applications

Applications for the EnMAP-Box are python programs that can be called from

  • the EnMAP-Box GUI directly and might provide its own GUI
  • the QGIS Processing Framework. In this case they implement the GeoAlgorithm interface and are added to the EnMAPBoxAlgorithmProvider

The examples/exampleapp shows how this can be done. Copy, rename and modify it to your needs to get your code interacting with the EnMAP-Box.

List of environmental variables

The following environmental variables can be set to change the starting behaviour of the EnMAP-Box.

Name Values, * = Default Description
EMB_LOAD_PF TRUE*/FALSE Load QGIS processing framework.
EMB_LOAD_EA TRUE*/FALSE Loads external applications.
EMB_DEBUG TRUE/FALSE* Enable additional debug printouts.
EMB_SPLASHSCREEN TRUE*/FALSE Splashscreen on EnMAP-Box start.
EMB_MESSAGE_TIMEOUT integer Timeout in seconds for popup messages in the message bar.
EMB_APPLICATION_PATH string list of directories (separated by ‘;’ or ‘:’) to load EnMAPBoxApplications from.