Book Image

Mapbox Cookbook

By : Bill Kastanakis, Vasileios Kastanakis
Book Image

Mapbox Cookbook

By: Bill Kastanakis, Vasileios Kastanakis

Overview of this book

Maps are an essential element in today’s location aware applications. Right from displaying earth surface information to creating thematic maps displaying plethora of information, most of the developers lack the necessary knowledge to create customizable maps with combination of various tools and libraries. The MapBox platform is one such platform which offers all the tools and API required to create and publish a totally customizable map. Starting with building your first map with the online MapBox Editor, we will take you all the way to building advanced web and mobile applications with totally customizable map styles. Through the course of chapters we’ll learn CartoCSS styling language and understand the various components of MapBox platform and their corresponding JavaScript API. In the initial few chapters we will dive deeper into the TileMill and MapBox Studio components of MapBox and use them to generate custom styled map tiles and vector maps. Furthermore, we will publish these custom maps using PHP, node.js and third party tools like Geoserver. We’ll also learn to create different visualizations and map styles like a choropleth map, a heat map and add user interactivity using a UFTGrid. Moving on, we dive into advanced concepts and focus on integration with third party services like Foursquare, Google FusionTables, CartoDB, and Torque to help you populate and even animate your maps. In the final chapter we’ll learn to use the Mapbox SDK to create and publish interactive maps for the iOS platform. By the end of this book, you will learn about MapBox GL and how to create a fully functional, location-aware mobile app, using the maps styles created in the recipes.
Table of Contents (13 chapters)
Mapbox Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewer

Publishing your base map on your server with PHP

So far, we have successfully used the tools provided by Mapbox to style our maps. We have also seen how easy it is to publish a map to the Mapbox platform, especially if we use Mapbox Studio.

There are cases where we may need to host a map on our own server, and we will explore two different ways of doing this.

In the first case, we will use PHP. While this is not the best option for this task, PHP can be found installed on every server, and projects using PHP are easy to deploy.

How it works…

First of all, we will export our maps from TileMill. The format that we will export in will be .mbtiles, which is actually a SQLite file containing the data and the tiles.


MBTiles is just a SQLite database that contains metadata information along with PNG images. Its purpose is to have a single file that contains everything needed to serve a map. In cases such as mobile applications, storing thousands of tiles and metadata information in the app container...