The development of frontend Web GIS applications is possible through the use of both open source and proprietary libraries. Such include: Leaflet, OpenLayers, Mapbox, GeoExt and TurfJS. This article will focus mostly on the open source libraries used for web GIS development for the frontend.
It works efficiently across major desktop and mobile platforms due to its performance, simplicity, and usability. The availability of a well-documented API and readable source code makes it easy to use. It is possible to extend Leaflet with lots of plugins.
It is essential for building immersive web maps due to features such as interactivity, performance and real time styling. However, unlike Leaflet, Mapbox is not entirely open source; it has some generous free packages making the service suitable for a limited number of users.
OpenLayers is completely open source and can display map tiles, vector maps and markers from any source.
GeoExt is a combination of the user interface provided by Sencha’s ExtJS library and the GIS functionality provided by OpenLayers.
There is no best library to use for the frontend development of web GIS. Each library and framework is unique. It all depends on the requirements of your project and what you want to achieve at the end.