Mapboard GIS


Tile layer selector

Mapboard GIS includes a wide 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 tiles from Mapbox's servers will be supported a later version of the app.

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