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LandmarkJS is a powerful new Node.js content management system and web app framework built on express and mongoose that makes it easy to create sophisticated web sites and apps, and gives you a beautiful, auto-generated Admin UI. LandmarkJS is built on top of the amazing KeystoneJS CMS project and adapted for managing Landmark content for the Landmark Connect app.

To get started, check out!


Landmark gives you:

  • A simple way to create a dynamic web site or app with well-structured routes, templates and models
  • A beautiful Admin UI based on the database models you define
  • Enhanced models with additional field types and functionality, building on those natively supported by Mongoose
  • Out of the box session management and authentication
  • An updates framework for managing data updates or initialisation
  • Integration with Cloudinary for image uploading, storage and resizing
  • Integration with Mandrill for sending emails easily
  • Integration with Google Places for clever location fields
  • Integration with Embedly for powerful video and rich media embedding tools

... plus a lot of other tools and utilities to make creating complex web apps easier.

Use our Yeoman Generator to get up and running with LandmarkJS quickly, then check out our getting started guide & docs at

We have a demo website at where you can play with the Landmark Admin UI, and you can read the source to see how it was built.

If you have ideas or questions, get in touch on the LandmarkJS Google Group or tweet at @LandmarkJS on twitter.


LandmarkJS has a big vision, and the support of the community is an important part of making it a reality.

We love to hear feedback about Landmark and the projects you're using it for, and are happy to give advice on the LandmarkJS Google Group if you get stuck.

If you can, please contribute by reporting issues, discussing ideas, or submitting pull requests with patches and new features. We do our best to respond to all issues and pull requests within a day or two, and make patch releases to npm regularly.

If you're going to contribute code, please try and mimic the existing code standards - we follow AirBNB's Javascript Style Guide fairly closely, with the exception of using tab indentation.


Check out the LandmarkJS Documentation for a walk-through on how to use LandmarkJS.


The easiest way to get started with Landmark is to use the Yeoman generator.

To install it, type the following in your terminal:

npm install -g yo
npm install -g generator-landmark

Then, create a new folder for your project and from it, type the following in your terminal:

yo landmark

This will create a new project based on the options you select, and install the required packages from npm.

After the intallation is complete, run this command to start Landmark:

node landmark

Alternatively, to include Landmark in an existing project or start from scratch (without Yeoman), specify landmark: "0.1.x" in the dependencies array in your package.json file, and run npm install from your terminal.

Then read through the Documentation and the Example Projects to understand how to use it.

Example application script (landmark.js)

Running in default mode, Landmark takes care of everything required to configure your application with Express, connect to your MongoDB database, and start the web server.

Here is an example of what your landmark.js (or app.js, etc) file may look like:

var landmark = require('landmark-serve');

	'name': 'My Project',
	'brand': 'Project',
	'favicon': 'public/favicon.ico',
	'less': 'public',
	'static': 'public',
	'views': 'templates/views',
	'view engine': 'jade',
	'auth': true,
	'user model': 'User',
	'cookie secret': '--- your secret ---',
	'auto update': true,
	'emails': 'templates/emails',
	'mandrill api key': '--- your api key ---',
	'email rules': { find: '/images/', replace: (landmark.get('env') != 'production') ? 'http://localhost:3000/images/' : '' },
	'cloudinary config': { cloud_name: '--- your cloud name ---', api_key: '--- your api key ---', api_secret: '--- your api secret ---' }


landmark.set('routes', require('./routes'));


Config variables can be passed in an object to the landmark.init method, or can be set any time before landmark.start is called using landmark.set(key, value). This allows for a more flexible order of execution (e.g. if you refer to Lists in your routes, you can set the routes after configuring your Lists, as in the example above).

See the LandmarkJS configuration documentation for details and examples of the available configuration options.

To understand how these settings are used, and how the Express application initialised, see Landmark.prototype.start in /index.js.

Database field types

Landmark builds on the basic data types provided by mongo and allows you to easily add rich, functional fields to your application's models.

You get helper methods on your models for dealing with each field type easily (such as formatting a date or number, resizing an image, getting an array of the available options for a select field, or using Google's Places API to improve addresses) as well as a beautiful, responsive admin UI to edit your data with.

See the LandmarkJS database documentation for details and examples of the various field types, as well as how to set up and use database models in your application.

Landmark's field types include:

Landmark also has Relationship fields for managing one-to-many and many-to-many relationships between different models.

Running LandmarkJS in Production

When you deploy your LandmarkJS app to production, be sure to set your ENV environment variable to production.

You can do this by setting NODE_ENV=production in your .env file, which gets handled by dotenv.

Setting your environment enables certain features, including template caching, simpler error reporting and html minification, that are important in production but annoying in development.

Linking Landmark for Development and Testing

If you want to test or develop against the master branch of LandmarkJS (or against your own branch), rather than a published version on npm, you just need to check it out then use npm link to link it to your project. On Mac OS, this is done like this:

  • Checkout LandmarkJS locally, e.g. to ~/Development/LandmarkJS
  • From the LandmarkJS directory, run sudo npm link (you will need to enter your system password)
  • From your project directory, e.g. ~/Development/MySite (the one with your package.json file in it) run npm link landmark. This will create a link between ~/Development/MySite/node_modules/landmark and ~/Development/LandmarkJS.

Then require('landmark-serve') normally in your app - the development copy will be used. Note that running npm update will ignore new versions of landmark that have been published.

To go back to using a published version of LandmarkJS from npm, from your project directory, run npm unlink landmark then npm install.

Advanced Usage

It is also possible to integrate landmark into an existing express app, without using the start method. This assumes less about your app and provides a lot of flexibility.

You can provide a mongoose or express instance to Landmark's connect function before defining any lists. connect returns this so you can do this in the require call.

landmark.static(app) adds Landmark's static route-handling middleware to the Express app. It's a good idea to do this after your application's other static assets, before any dynamic logic (e.g. cookie parsing, session authentication, body parsing, etc)

landmark.routes(app); adds Landmark's dynamic routes to the Express app router. This can be done before or after your application's routes are defined, although if they come after, you can explicitly lock down or replace Landmark routes with your own (so be careful).

Mounting Landmark as a sub-app or creating a node module out of your Landmark project

You may also just want to mount Landmark as a sub-app within a larger express app, and still let Landmark run its full configuration and setup routine but not start its own http server (i.e. embedded mode).

…Or you might also want to turn a Landmark project into a node module that can be embedded easily via npm link or npm install.

The following detailed example will cover both creating a node module as well as mounting the Landmark app as a sub-app within a larger Express based application.

Let's say you have a solution broken out into a structure like so…


...where /client is some super awesome large scale single page client app written in AngularJS or Polymer, /server is a whiz-bang back end powered by StrongLoop or something else based on Express that serves up the data and maybe the built version of /client, and finally /content is a Landmark app that you want to use just for the awesome CMS modeling, querying, and automatic admin interface. In other words, you think Landmark is great at the content related data management and email stuff but don't really love its front end stuff (other than the admin app).

In this example, all three projects are their own node apps with their own package.json files. The /content app in this example might be the result of you using Landmark's yeoman generator and then ripping out most of the stuff from /routes and /templates and just using /models and /updates and the email stuff.

You then want to integrate the /content app as a linked module inside of /server and mount it as a sub-app at the path /content.

**Your /content/landmark.js file would look something like this: **

// Simulate config options from your production environment by
// customising the .env file in your project's root folder.

// Require landmark
var landmark = require('landmark-serve');

// Initialise Landmark with your project's configuration.
// See for available options
// and documentation.

	'name': 'Your App Name',
	'brand': 'Your App Name',
	'emails': 'templates/emails',
	'auto update': true,
	'session': true,
	'auth': true,
	'user model': 'User',
	'cookie secret': 'your cookie secret'

// Load your project's Models


// Setup common locals for your emails. The following are required by Landmark's
// default email templates, you may remove them if you're using your own.

landmark.set('email locals', {
	logo_src: '/images/logo-email.gif',
	logo_width: 194,
	logo_height: 76,
	theme: {
		email_bg: '#f9f9f9',
		link_color: '#2697de',
		buttons: {
			color: '#fff',
			background_color: '#2697de',
			border_color: '#1a7cb7'

// Setup replacement rules for emails, to automate the handling of differences
// between development a production.

// Be sure to update this rule to include your site's actual domain, and add
// other rules your email templates require.

landmark.set('email rules', [{
	find: '/images/',
	replace: (landmark.get('env') == 'production') ? '' : 'http://localhost:3000/images/'
}, {
	find: '/landmark/',
	replace: (landmark.get('env') == 'production') ? '' : 'http://localhost:3000/landmark/'

// Load your project's email test routes

landmark.set('email tests', require('./routes/emails'));

// Configure the navigation bar in Landmark's Admin UI

landmark.set('nav', {
	'posts': ['posts', 'post-categories'],
	'galleries': 'galleries',
	'enquiries': 'enquiries',
	'users': 'users'

module.exports = landmark;

Notice the last line. Instead of starting the landmark server via landmark.start() you simply export the landmark object. This will allow you to easily embed this module in another application.

You may also want to make an app.js file at the same level as landmark.js the does nothing more than require this exported object and starts the server. This is useful if you still want to hack on your models and test them in an isolated manner.


var landmark = require('./landmark');


The last piece of the setup for your embeddable Landmark project is to slightly modify the package.json file to include a main value. This is needed for the next step to work.


  "name": "your-app-content",
  "version": "0.0.0",
  "private": true,
  "dependencies": {
    "landmark-serve": "~0.1.23",
    "async": "~0.2.9",
    "underscore": "~1.5.2",
    "dotenv": "0.0.3"
  "engines": {
    "node": ">=0.10.22",
    "npm": ">=1.3.14"
  "main": "landmark.js",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "app.js"

Now to embed the Landmark project into your /server app as a node_module during development, just run npm link from within the /content project's root folder, followed by npm link your-app-content in the /server app's root folder (note: when doing the second npm link, replace your-app-content with the actual name of your /content app within its package.json file).

The next step for all this to work is to use landmark.mount in the server app.

Example app.js in /server:

var express = require('express'),
	app = express();
app.landmark = require('your-app-content');

// your normal express setup stuff, add middleware and routes (but not static content or error handling middleware yet)

app.landmark.mount('/content', app, function() {
	//put your app's static content and error handling middleware here and start your server

Assuming you are using port 3000 to run the above example, you could then open a browser to http://localhost:3000/content/landmark to access your Landmark admin interface (hosted from your own higher level application).

Putting a reference to the landmark object directly on your app like we did above means you can now use all the powerful querying tools from your Landmark models in your app, perhaps behind some ridiculously secure ACL managed routes or something else fun like that.

And finally, if you are using dotenv in your Landmark project to store your config in a .env file, you will also need to create a .env file at the root level of the /server project.

Now you have a fully functioning embeddable LandmarkJS module and you can achieve good separation of concerns between the development and testing of the back-end, the front-end, and the content.


LandmarkJS is a free and open source community-driven project. Thanks to our many contributors and users for making it great.

Thanks to the following companies and projects whose work we have used or taken inspiration from in the making of LandmarkJS:


The activity which is the subject of this mobile device application and shareware has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, through the California Office of Historic Preservation. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior or the California Office of Historic Preservation, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior or the California Office of Historic Preservation.

This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to:

Office of Equal Opportunity National Park Service 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240


(The MIT License)

LandmarkJS Copyright (c) 2014 Mike Stecker

LandmarkJS is based off KeystoneJS, Copyright (c) 2014 Jed Watson

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.



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