Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
Download ZIP
A map tile server for PostGIS based on node.js and Mapnik
JavaScript Shell HTML Makefile
Latest commit 07bbd57 @rochoa rochoa Stubs next version

Windshaft map tiler

A Node.js map tile library for PostGIS and torque.js, with CartoCSS styling.


Build Status Code Climate

  • Can render arbitrary SQL queries
  • Generates image and UTFGrid interactivity tiles
  • Accepts, stores, serves, and applies map styles written in CartoCSS
  • Supports re-projections

Being a dynamic map renderer, windshaft commits some map server 'sins' in its raw form. The idea is that you the developer will want to graft your own auth/metrics/caching/scaling on top of decent core components. Same old story: high cohesion, low coupling makes us happy. See Windshaft-cartodb.

Windshaft is a library used by, an Open Source Geospatial Database on the Cloud.

Some examples

Playing with colors by @andrewxhill Circumpolar Arctic Vegetation by @andrewxhill Bolivia deforestation by @saleiva Traffic accidents by @rochoa

More examples built on top of Windshaft can be found in CartoDB's gallery.


  • Node >=0.8
  • npm >=1.2.1 <2.0.0
  • Mapnik 2.0.1, 2.0.2, 2.1.0, 2.2.0, 2.3.0. See Installing Mapnik.
  • PostgreSQL >8.3.x, PostGIS >1.5.x
  • Redis >2.2.x
  • libcairo2-dev, libpango1.0-dev, libjpeg8-dev and libgif-dev for server side canvas support

Dependencies installation example:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:cartodb/cairo
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y build-essential checkinstall pkg-config libcairo2-dev libjpeg8-dev libgif-dev


npm install [windshaft]


An example http service is implemented in examples/http/server.js, examples/readme_server.js extends its behaviour.

Probably one of the more advanced uses of Windshaft library can be found at Windshaft-cartodb project.

Installing Mapnik

Latest node-mapnik versions comes compiled for some platforms and architectures, in case you need it you can always compile, package and install it manually. The recommended option is to use mapnik-packaging. You can also use other alternatives:

Recommended options to build from source:

We maintain a set of scripts/recipes to package mapnik sdk and node-mapnik. It can help to understand what you really need to package mapnik + node-mapnik to be used from windshaft[-cartodb].


Windshaft has a unit and acceptance test suite. To execute them, run npm test.

You'll need to be sure your PGUSER (or your libpq default) is set to a "superuser" PostgreSQL account, for example:

PGUSER=postgres npm test


Fonts: Invalid value for text-face-name

You need to install fonts at system level to be able to use them. If you face an issue like Invalid value for text-face-name, the type font is expected. DejaVu Sans Book (of type string) was given. probably you don't have the required fonts, try to install DejaVu fonts or any other font needed.



Thanks to the Mapnik and Mapbox team for making such flexible tools

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.