1.1.0 • Public • Published


    TileStream is a high-performance map tile server powered by MBTiles files.

    It's like TileCache, TileStache, and other map servers in that it serves normal image files that can be used in OpenLayers, Google Maps, Modest Maps, and other Javascript APIs without much trouble - and with lots of enhancements when you use Wax.

    It's not like those tile servers in that it doesn't yet generate maps, it only serves maps that are generated with TileMill. This means that it's reliably fast but not designed to serve live data.

    MapBox Hosting uses the same internals as TileStream but adds many features and is a hosted service rather than an installable application.


    • MBTiles-based tile server
    • Minimal gallery view and map viewer for tiles
    • Support for MBTiles interaction using Wax


    • TileStream client
      • Tested: Chrome 6+, Firefox 3+, IE8+
      • May work: Opera 11
    • TileStream server
      • Tested: Mac OS X 10.6, Ubuntu 10.04, Ubuntu 11.04
      • Tested: node 0.8.x
      • At least 613MB memory
      • May work: Older versions, other POSIX-compliant systems

    Installation: Mac OS X 10.6

    Install Xcode for Mac OS X.

    Install node. If you are using HomeBrew, use these steps:

    brew install node       # Installs the latest node: should be v0.8.x
    brew versions node      # Find all the different versions of node available
    brew switch node 0.8.15  # set current node version

    Install TileStream:

    git clone git@github.com:mapbox/tilestream.git
    cd tilestream
    npm install

    Start TileStream:

    ./index.js (if running from the source copy)

    Get options:

    ./index.js start --help

    TileStream should now be accessible from a browser at http://localhost:8888.

    Installation: Ubuntu 10.04

    Install build requirements:

    sudo apt-get install curl build-essential libssl-dev libsqlite3-0 libsqlite3-dev git-core

    Install node:

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install nodejs nodejs-dev npm

    Install TileStream:

    git clone git@github.com:mapbox/tilestream.git
    cd tilestream
    npm install

    Start TileStream:

    ./index.js (if running from the source copy)

    Get options:

    ./index.js start --help

    Custom configuration

    If you intend to run TileStream as a server on a hostname or an IP rather than as localhost, specify that hostname when you run TileStream:

    tilestream --host
    tilestream --host yourhost.com

    In these examples, you would only be able to access tilestream from or yourhost.com, respectively, due to security restrictions.


    MBTiles files should be placed in the ~/Documents/MapBox/tiles directory, which is created at first run. Each tileset can be previewed at http://localhost:8888/map/[filename] where [filename] is the name of the tileset file without the .mbtiles extension.

    Tileset filenames:

    • May contain letters (lower or upper case), numbers, underscores or dashes.

    • May not contain periods, spaces, non ASCII characters or other punctuation.

        World Light.mbtiles

    To see the options available for use with TileStream, run

    ./index.js start --help


    TileStream tests use Expresso.

    cd tilestream
    npm install expresso
    npm test


    See the configuration_examples directory for configuration examples with nginx and upstart.


    If you run into problems during install, such as unfound dependent versions, first try deleting the node_modules/ folder and re-run node install. It seems that some errors leave the installation in an unclean state (for example if you accidentally switched node versions during the install in the hopes of making things work!).

    Build Failures

    npm install may cause:

    Waf: Leaving directory '/Users/sundar/Projects/tilestream/node_modules/sqlite3/build'
    Build failed:
    -> task failed (err #1):
    {task: cxx statement.cc -> statement_1.o}
    -> task failed (err #1):
    {task: cxx database.cc -> database_1.o}
    -> task failed (err #1):
    {task: cxx sqlite3.cc -> sqlite3_1.o}
    npm ERR! sqlite3@2.1.1 preinstall: `node-waf clean || (exit 0); node-waf configure build`
    npm ERR! `sh "-c" "node-waf clean || (exit 0); node-waf configure build"` failed with 1
    npm ERR!
    npm ERR! Failed at the sqlite3@2.1.1 preinstall script.

    Manually installing sqlite3 via npm install sqlite3 resolved this issue. Then re-run npm install in the tilestream folder:

    npm install sqlite3
    npm install

    If you STILL get errors when launching index.js, there may be more modules to install manually. This is the list that worked for me:

    npm install sqlite3
    npm install mbtiles
    npm install jsdom
    npm install uglify-js
    npm install connect
    npm install qs
    npm install mime

    But again, all this headache may be solved by just deleting your node_modules/ folder and re-running node install.





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