Mapboard GIS


Tile layer se­lec­tor

Map­board GIS in­cludes a va­ri­ety of Map­box basemaps to con­tex­tu­al­ize map­ping. Ad­di­tion­ally, mbtiles-for­mat­ted basemaps and stream­ing im­agery can be added, al­low­ing a wide range of map im­agery to be used in the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Caching Map­box tile­sets

Cached basemap man­age­ment in­ter­face

As of ver­sion 2.3.0, Map­board GIS can cache tile­sets from Map­box’s servers. The Man­age of­fline tile­sets panel can be in­voked from the Tile lay­ers se­lec­tion page. Press­ing the + but­ton at the top of this panel starts the process of down­load­ing an of­fline tile­set. Pre­vi­ously cre­ated tile­sets are listed in this panel and can be deleted with con­tex­tual ac­tions. Tile­sets are shared be­tween pro­jects and lim­ited to Map­box-pro­vided basemap lay­ers.

The user in­ter­face for this fea­ture is very ba­sic and will be im­proved in a fu­ture re­lease.

Cre­at­ing basemaps

The form for adding a new tile layer to the map

The most com­mon way to get out­side im­agery into Map­board GIS is to con­vert it to a MBTiles basemap. MBTiles is a pre-tiled im­agery for­mat where im­agery for dif­fer­ent zoom lev­els is stored in a SQLite data­base (see the spec). It is easy to con­sume on mo­bile de­vices with rel­a­tively lit­tle over­head. How­ever, be­cause it’s not a tra­di­tional GIS for­mat, it must typ­i­cally be pre­pared by the user. There are a few op­tions:

  • QGIS can cre­ate mbtiles files from ex­ist­ing raster lay­ers.
  • The com­mer­cial Map­Tiler pack­age can be used to gen­er­ate MBTiles datasets from im­agery sources in­clud­ing GeoPDFs (see this help page).
  • The Ras­te­rIO MBTiles ex­ten­sion al­lows the cre­ation of MBTiles files from most raster im­agery.
  • GDAL can be used to cre­ate a MBTiles file us­ing the gdal_warp, gdal_translate, and gdaladdo util­i­ties.

A generic recipe for MBTiles prepa­ra­tion with GDAL:

gdal_translate -expand rgba input.tif step1.tif
gdalwarp -t_srs EPSG:3857 step1.tif step2.tif
gdal_translate -of mbtiles step2.tif output.mbtiles
gdaladdo output.mbtiles 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256