Modified version of tippedcanoe that will allow over 10k features in --no-polygon-splitting
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README.md

tippecanoe

Builds vector tilesets from large (or small) collections of GeoJSON, Geobuf, or CSV features, like these.

Mapbox Tippecanoe

Build Status Coverage Status

Intent

The goal of Tippecanoe is to enable making a scale-independent view of your data, so that at any level from the entire world to a single building, you can see the density and texture of the data rather than a simplification from dropping supposedly unimportant features or clustering or aggregating them.

If you give it all of OpenStreetMap and zoom out, it should give you back something that looks like "All Streets" rather than something that looks like an Interstate road atlas.

If you give it all the building footprints in Los Angeles and zoom out far enough that most individual buildings are no longer discernable, you should still be able to see the extent and variety of development in every neighborhood, not just the largest downtown buildings.

If you give it a collection of years of tweet locations, you should be able to see the shape and relative popularity of every point of interest and every significant travel corridor.

Installation

The easiest way to install tippecanoe on OSX is with Homebrew:

$ brew install tippecanoe

On Ubuntu it will usually be easiest to build from the source repository:

$ git clone git@github.com:mapbox/tippecanoe.git
$ cd tippecanoe
$ make -j
$ make install

See Development below for how to upgrade your C++ compiler or install prerequisite packages if you get compiler errors.

Usage

$ tippecanoe -o file.mbtiles [options] [file.json file.json.gz file.geobuf ...]

If no files are specified, it reads GeoJSON from the standard input. If multiple files are specified, each is placed in its own layer.

The GeoJSON features need not be wrapped in a FeatureCollection. You can concatenate multiple GeoJSON features or files together, and it will parse out the features and ignore whatever other objects it encounters.

Try this first

If you aren't sure what options to use, try this:

$ tippecanoe -o out.mbtiles -zg --drop-densest-as-needed in.geojson

The -zg option will make Tippecanoe choose a maximum zoom level that should be high enough to reflect the precision of the original data. (If it turns out still not to be as detailed as you want, use -z manually with a higher number.)

If the tiles come out too big, the --drop-densest-as-needed option will make Tippecanoe try dropping what should be the least visible features at each zoom level. (If it drops too many features, use -x to leave out some feature attributes that you didn't really need.)

Examples

Create a tileset of TIGER roads for Alameda County, to zoom level 13, with a custom layer name and description:

$ tippecanoe -o alameda.mbtiles -l alameda -n "Alameda County from TIGER" -z13 tl_2014_06001_roads.json

Create a tileset of all TIGER roads, at only zoom level 12, but with higher detail than normal, with a custom layer name and description, and leaving out the LINEARID and RTTYP attributes:

$ cat tiger/tl_2014_*_roads.json | tippecanoe -o tiger.mbtiles -l roads -n "All TIGER roads, one zoom" -z12 -Z12 -d14 -x LINEARID -x RTTYP

Cookbook

Linear features (world railroads), visible at all zoom levels

curl -L -O https://www.naturalearthdata.com/http//www.naturalearthdata.com/download/10m/cultural/ne_10m_railroads.zip
unzip ne_10m_railroads.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON ne_10m_railroads.geojson ne_10m_railroads.shp

tippecanoe -zg -o ne_10m_railroads.mbtiles --drop-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping ne_10m_railroads.geojson
  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • --drop-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low zoom levels, drop the least-visible features to allow tiles to be created with those features that remain
  • --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: If even the tiles at high zoom levels are too big, keep adding zoom levels until one is reached that can represent all the features

Discontinuous polygon features (buildings of Rhode Island), visible at all zoom levels

curl -L -O https://usbuildingdata.blob.core.windows.net/usbuildings-v1-1/RhodeIsland.zip
unzip RhodeIsland.zip

tippecanoe -zg -o RhodeIsland.mbtiles --drop-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping RhodeIsland.geojson
  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • --drop-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low or medium zoom levels, drop the least-visible features to allow tiles to be created with those features that remain
  • --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: If even the tiles at high zoom levels are too big, keep adding zoom levels until one is reached that can represent all the features

Continuous polygon features (states and provinces), visible at all zoom levels

curl -L -O https://www.naturalearthdata.com/http//www.naturalearthdata.com/download/10m/cultural/ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.zip
unzip -o ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.geojson ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.shp

tippecanoe -zg -o ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.mbtiles --coalesce-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.geojson
  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • --coalesce-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low or medium zoom levels, merge as many features together as are necessary to allow tiles to be created with those features that are still distinguished
  • --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: If even the tiles at high zoom levels are too big, keep adding zoom levels until one is reached that can represent all the features

Large point dataset (GPS bus locations), for visualization at all zoom levels

curl -L -O ftp://avl-data.sfmta.com/avl_data/avl_raw/sfmtaAVLRawData01012013.csv
sed 's/PREDICTABLE.*/PREDICTABLE/' sfmtaAVLRawData01012013.csv > sfmta.csv
tippecanoe -zg -o sfmta.mbtiles --drop-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping sfmta.csv

(The sed line is to clean the corrupt CSV header, which contains the wrong number of fields.)

  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • --drop-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low or medium zoom levels, drop the least-visible features to allow tiles to be created with those features that remain
  • --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: If even the tiles at high zoom levels are too big, keep adding zoom levels until one is reached that can represent all the features

Clustered points (world cities), summing the clustered population, visible at all zoom levels

curl -L -O https://www.naturalearthdata.com/http//www.naturalearthdata.com/download/10m/cultural/ne_10m_populated_places.zip
unzip -o ne_10m_populated_places.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON ne_10m_populated_places.geojson ne_10m_populated_places.shp

tippecanoe -zg -o ne_10m_populated_places.mbtiles -r1 --cluster-distance=10 --accumulate-attribute=POP_MAX:sum ne_10m_populated_places.geojson
  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • -r1: Do not automatically drop a fraction of points at low zoom levels, since clustering will be used instead
  • --cluster-distance=10: Cluster together features that are closer than about 10 pixels from each other
  • --accumulate-attribute=POP_MAX:sum: Sum the POP_MAX (population) attribute in features that are clustered together. Other attributes will be arbitrarily taken from the first feature in the cluster.

Show countries at low zoom levels but states at higher zoom levels

curl -L -O https://www.naturalearthdata.com/http//www.naturalearthdata.com/download/10m/cultural/ne_10m_admin_0_countries.zip
unzip ne_10m_admin_0_countries.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON ne_10m_admin_0_countries.geojson ne_10m_admin_0_countries.shp

curl -L -O https://www.naturalearthdata.com/http//www.naturalearthdata.com/download/10m/cultural/ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.zip
unzip -o ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.geojson ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.shp

tippecanoe -z3 -o countries-z3.mbtiles --coalesce-densest-as-needed ne_10m_admin_0_countries.geojson
tippecanoe -zg -Z4 -o states-Z4.mbtiles --coalesce-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping ne_10m_admin_1_states_provinces.geojson
tile-join -o states-countries.mbtiles countries-z3.mbtiles states-Z4.mbtiles

Countries:

  • -z3: Only generate zoom levels 0 through 3
  • --coalesce-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low or medium zoom levels, merge as many features together as are necessary to allow tiles to be created with those features that are still distinguished

States and Provinces:

  • -Z4: Only generate zoom levels 4 and beyond
  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • --coalesce-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low or medium zoom levels, merge as many features together as are necessary to allow tiles to be created with those features that are still distinguished
  • --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: If even the tiles at high zoom levels are too big, keep adding zoom levels until one is reached that can represent all the features

Represent multiple sources (Illinois and Indiana counties) as separate layers

curl -L -O https://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/COUNTY/2010/tl_2010_17_county10.zip
unzip tl_2010_17_county10.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON tl_2010_17_county10.geojson tl_2010_17_county10.shp

curl -L -O https://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/COUNTY/2010/tl_2010_18_county10.zip
unzip tl_2010_18_county10.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON tl_2010_18_county10.geojson tl_2010_18_county10.shp

tippecanoe -zg -o counties-separate.mbtiles --coalesce-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping tl_2010_17_county10.geojson tl_2010_18_county10.geojson
  • -zg: Automatically choose a maxzoom that should be sufficient to clearly distinguish the features and the detail within each feature
  • --coalesce-densest-as-needed: If the tiles are too big at low or medium zoom levels, merge as many features together as are necessary to allow tiles to be created with those features that are still distinguished
  • --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: If even the tiles at high zoom levels are too big, keep adding zoom levels until one is reached that can represent all the features

Merge multiple sources (Illinois and Indiana counties) into the same layer

curl -L -O https://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/COUNTY/2010/tl_2010_17_county10.zip
unzip tl_2010_17_county10.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON tl_2010_17_county10.geojson tl_2010_17_county10.shp

curl -L -O https://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/COUNTY/2010/tl_2010_18_county10.zip
unzip tl_2010_18_county10.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON tl_2010_18_county10.geojson tl_2010_18_county10.shp

tippecanoe -zg -o counties-merged.mbtiles -l counties --coalesce-densest-as-needed --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping tl_2010_17_county10.geojson tl_2010_18_county10.geojson

As above, but

  • -l counties: Specify the layer name instead of letting it be derived from the source file names

Options

There are a lot of options. A lot of the time you won't want to use any of them other than -o output.mbtiles to name the output file, and probably -f to delete the file that already exists with that name.

If you aren't sure what the right maxzoom is for your data, -zg will guess one for you based on the density of features.

Tippecanoe will normally drop a fraction of point features at zooms below the maxzoom, to keep the low-zoom tiles from getting too big. If you have a smaller data set where all the points would fit without dropping any of them, use -r1 to keep them all. If you do want point dropping, but you still want the tiles to be denser than -zg thinks they should be, use -B to set a basezoom lower than the maxzoom.

If some of your tiles are coming out too big in spite of the settings above, you will often want to use --drop-densest-as-needed to drop whatever fraction of the features is necessary at each zoom level to make that zoom level's tiles work.

If your features have a lot of attributes, use -y to keep only the ones you really need.

If your input is formatted as newline-delimited GeoJSON, use -P to make input parsing a lot faster.

Output tileset

  • -o file.mbtiles or --output=file.mbtiles: Name the output file.
  • -e directory or --output-to-directory=directory: Write tiles to the specified directory instead of to an mbtiles file.
  • -f or --force: Delete the mbtiles file if it already exists instead of giving an error
  • -F or --allow-existing: Proceed (without deleting existing data) if the metadata or tiles table already exists or if metadata fields can't be set. You probably don't want to use this.

Tileset description and attribution

  • -n name or --name=name: Human-readable name for the tileset (default file.json)
  • -A text or --attribution=text: Attribution (HTML) to be shown with maps that use data from this tileset.
  • -N description or --description=description: Description for the tileset (default file.mbtiles)

Input files and layer names

  • name.json or name.geojson: Read the named GeoJSON input file into a layer called name.
  • name.json.gz or name.geojson.gz: Read the named gzipped GeoJSON input file into a layer called name.
  • name.geobuf: Read the named Geobuf input file into a layer called name.
  • name.csv: Read the named CSV input file into a layer called name.
  • -l name or --layer=name: Use the specified layer name instead of deriving a name from the input filename or output tileset. If there are multiple input files specified, the files are all merged into the single named layer, even if they try to specify individual names with -L.
  • -L name:file.json or --named-layer=name:file.json: Specify layer names for individual files. If your shell supports it, you can use a subshell redirect like -L name:<(cat dir/*.json) to specify a layer name for the output of streamed input.
  • -L{layer-json} or --named-layer={layer-json}: Specify an input file and layer options by a JSON object. The JSON object must contain a "file" key to specify the filename to read from. (If the "file" key is an empty string, it means to read from the standard input stream.) It may also contain a "layer" field to specify the name of the layer, and/or a "description" field to specify the layer's description in the tileset metadata, and/or a "format" field to specify csv or geobuf file format if it is not obvious from the name. Example:
tippecanoe -z5 -o world.mbtiles -L'{"file":"ne_10m_admin_0_countries.json", "layer":"countries", "description":"Natural Earth countries"}'

CSV input files currently support only Point geometries, from columns named latitude, longitude, lat, lon, long, lng, x, or y.

Parallel processing of input

  • -P or --read-parallel: Use multiple threads to read different parts of each GeoJSON input file at once. This will only work if the input is line-delimited JSON with each Feature on its own line, because it knows nothing of the top-level structure around the Features. Spurious "EOF" error messages may result otherwise. Performance will be better if the input is a named file that can be mapped into memory rather than a stream that can only be read sequentially.

If the input file begins with the RFC 8142 record separator, parallel processing of input will be invoked automatically, splitting at record separators rather than at all newlines.

Parallel processing will also be automatic if the input file is in Geobuf format.

Projection of input

  • -s projection or --projection=projection: Specify the projection of the input data. Currently supported are EPSG:4326 (WGS84, the default) and EPSG:3857 (Web Mercator). In general you should use WGS84 for your input files if at all possible.

Zoom levels

  • -z zoom or --maximum-zoom=zoom: Maxzoom: the highest zoom level for which tiles are generated (default 14)
  • -zg or --maximum-zoom=g: Guess what is probably a reasonable maxzoom based on the spacing of features.
  • -Z zoom or --minimum-zoom=zoom: Minzoom: the lowest zoom level for which tiles are generated (default 0)
  • -ae or --extend-zooms-if-still-dropping: Increase the maxzoom if features are still being dropped at that zoom level. The detail and simplification options that ordinarily apply only to the maximum zoom level will apply both to the originally specified maximum zoom and to any levels added beyond that.
  • -R zoom/x/y or --one-tile=zoom/x/y: Set the minzoom and maxzoom to zoom and produce only the single specified tile at that zoom level.

Tile resolution

  • -d detail or --full-detail=detail: Detail at max zoom level (default 12, for tile resolution of 2^12=4096)
  • -D detail or --low-detail=detail: Detail at lower zoom levels (default 12, for tile resolution of 2^12=4096)
  • -m detail or --minimum-detail=detail: Minimum detail that it will try if tiles are too big at regular detail (default 7)

All internal math is done in terms of a 32-bit tile coordinate system, so 1/(2^32) of the size of Earth, or about 1cm, is the smallest distinguishable distance. If maxzoom + detail > 32, no additional resolution is obtained than by using a smaller maxzoom or detail.

Filtering feature attributes

  • -x name or --exclude=name: Exclude the named attributes from all features
  • -y name or --include=name: Include the named attributes in all features, excluding all those not explicitly named
  • -X or --exclude-all: Exclude all attributes and encode only geometries

Modifying feature attributes

  • -Tattribute:type or --attribute-type=attribute:type: Coerce the named feature attribute to be of the specified type. The type may be string, float, int, or bool. If the type is bool, then original attributes of 0 (or, if numeric, 0.0, etc.), false, null, or the empty string become false, and otherwise become true. If the type is float or int and the original attribute was non-numeric, it becomes 0. If the type is int and the original attribute was floating-point, it is rounded to the nearest integer.
  • -Yattribute:description or --attribute-description=attribute:description: Set the description for the specified attribute in the tileset metadata to description instead of the usual String, Number, or Boolean.
  • -Eattribute:operation or --accumulate-attribute=attribute:operation: Preserve the named attribute from features that are dropped, coalesced-as-needed, or clustered. The operation may be sum, product, mean, max, min, concat, or comma to specify how the named attribute is accumulated onto the attribute of the same name in a feature that does survive.
  • -pe or --empty-csv-columns-are-null: Treat empty CSV columns as nulls rather than as empty strings.

Filtering features by attributes

  • -j filter or --feature-filter=filter: Check features against a per-layer filter (as defined in the Mapbox GL Style Specification) and only include those that match. Any features in layers that have no filter specified will be passed through. Filters for the layer "*" apply to all layers. The special variable $zoom refers to the current zoom level.
  • -J filter-file or --feature-filter-file=filter-file: Like -j, but read the filter from a file.

Example: to find the Natural Earth countries with low scalerank but high LABELRANK:

tippecanoe -z5 -o filtered.mbtiles -j '{ "ne_10m_admin_0_countries": [ "all", [ "<", "scalerank", 3 ], [ ">", "LABELRANK", 5 ] ] }' ne_10m_admin_0_countries.geojson

Example: to retain only major TIGER roads at low zoom levels:

tippecanoe -o roads.mbtiles -j '{ "*": [ "any", [ ">=", "$zoom", 11 ], [ "in", "MTFCC", "S1100", "S1200" ] ] }' tl_2015_06001_roads.json

Tippecanoe also accepts expressions of the form [ "attribute-filter", name, expression ], to filter individual feature attributes instead of entire features. For example, you can exclude the road names at low zoom levels by doing

tippecanoe -o roads.mbtiles -j '{ "*": [ "attribute-filter", "FULLNAME", [ ">=", "$zoom", 9 ] ] }' tl_2015_06001_roads.json

An attribute-filter expression itself is always considered to evaluate to true (in other words, to retain the feature instead of dropping it). If you want to use multiple attribute-filter expressions, or to use other expressions to remove features from the same layer, enclose them in an all expression so they will all be evaluated.

Dropping a fixed fraction of features by zoom level

  • -r rate or --drop-rate=rate: Rate at which dots are dropped at zoom levels below basezoom (default 2.5). If you use -rg, it will guess a drop rate that will keep at most 50,000 features in the densest tile. You can also specify a marker-width with -rgwidth to allow fewer features in the densest tile to compensate for the larger marker, or -rfnumber to allow at most number features in the densest tile.
  • -B zoom or --base-zoom=zoom: Base zoom, the level at and above which all points are included in the tiles (default maxzoom). If you use -Bg, it will guess a zoom level that will keep at most 50,000 features in the densest tile. You can also specify a marker-width with -Bgwidth to allow fewer features in the densest tile to compensate for the larger marker, or -Bfnumber to allow at most number features in the densest tile.
  • -al or --drop-lines: Let "dot" dropping at lower zooms apply to lines too
  • -ap or --drop-polygons: Let "dot" dropping at lower zooms apply to polygons too
  • -K distance or --cluster-distance=distance: Cluster points (as with --cluster-densest-as-needed, but without the experimental discovery process) that are approximately within distance of each other. The units are tile coordinates within a nominally 256-pixel tile, so the maximum value of 255 allows only one feature per tile. Values around 10 are probably appropriate for typical marker sizes. See --cluster-densest-as-needed below for behavior.

Dropping a fraction of features to keep under tile size limits

  • -as or --drop-densest-as-needed: If a tile is too large, try to reduce it to under 500K by increasing the minimum spacing between features. The discovered spacing applies to the entire zoom level.
  • -ad or --drop-fraction-as-needed: Dynamically drop some fraction of features from each zoom level to keep large tiles under the 500K size limit. (This is like -pd but applies to the entire zoom level, not to each tile.)
  • -an or --drop-smallest-as-needed: Dynamically drop the smallest features (physically smallest: the shortest lines or the smallest polygons) from each zoom level to keep large tiles under the 500K size limit. This option will not work for point features.
  • -aN or --coalesce-smallest-as-needed: Dynamically combine the smallest features (physically smallest: the shortest lines or the smallest polygons) from each zoom level into other nearby features to keep large tiles under the 500K size limit. This option will not work for point features, and will probably not help very much with LineStrings. It is mostly intended for polygons, to maintain the full original area covered by polygons while still reducing the feature count somehow. The attributes of the small polygons are not preserved into the combined features, only their geometry.
  • -aD or --coalesce-densest-as-needed: Dynamically combine the densest features from each zoom level into other nearby features to keep large tiles under the 500K size limit. (Again, mostly useful for polygons.)
  • -aS or --coalesce-fraction-as-needed: Dynamically combine a fraction of features from each zoom level into other nearby features to keep large tiles under the 500K size limit. (Again, mostly useful for polygons.)
  • -pd or --force-feature-limit: Dynamically drop some fraction of features from large tiles to keep them under the 500K size limit. It will probably look ugly at the tile boundaries. (This is like -ad but applies to each tile individually, not to the entire zoom level.) You probably don't want to use this.
  • -aC or --cluster-densest-as-needed: If a tile is too large, try to reduce its size by increasing the minimum spacing between features, and leaving one placeholder feature from each group. The remaining feature will be given a "cluster": true attribute to indicate that it represents a cluster, a "point_count" attribute to indicate the number of features that were clustered into it, and a "sqrt_point_count" attribute to indicate the relative width of a feature to represent the cluster. If the features being clustered are points, the representative feature will be located at the average of the original points' locations; otherwise, one of the original features will be left as the representative.

Dropping tightly overlapping features

  • -g gamma or --gamma=_gamma_: Rate at which especially dense dots are dropped (default 0, for no effect). A gamma of 2 reduces the number of dots less than a pixel apart to the square root of their original number.
  • -aG or --increase-gamma-as-needed: If a tile is too large, try to reduce it to under 500K by increasing the -g gamma. The discovered gamma applies to the entire zoom level. You probably want to use --drop-densest-as-needed instead.

Line and polygon simplification

  • -S scale or --simplification=scale: Multiply the tolerance for line and polygon simplification by scale. The standard tolerance tries to keep the line or polygon within one tile unit of its proper location. You can probably go up to about 10 without too much visible difference.
  • -ps or --no-line-simplification: Don't simplify lines and polygons
  • -pS or --simplify-only-low-zooms: Don't simplify lines and polygons at maxzoom (but do simplify at lower zooms)
  • -pt or --no-tiny-polygon-reduction: Don't combine the area of very small polygons into small squares that represent their combined area.

Attempts to improve shared polygon boundaries

  • -ab or --detect-shared-borders: In the manner of TopoJSON, detect borders that are shared between multiple polygons and simplify them identically in each polygon. This takes more time and memory than considering each polygon individually.
  • -aL or --grid-low-zooms: At all zoom levels below maxzoom, snap all lines and polygons to a stairstep grid instead of allowing diagonals. You will also want to specify a tile resolution, probably -D8. This option provides a way to display continuous parcel, gridded, or binned data at low zooms without overwhelming the tiles with tiny polygons, since features will either get stretched out to the grid unit or lost entirely, depending on how they happened to be aligned in the original data. You probably don't want to use this.

Controlling clipping to tile boundaries

  • -b pixels or --buffer=pixels: Buffer size where features are duplicated from adjacent tiles. Units are "screen pixels"—1/256th of the tile width or height. (default 5)
  • -pc or --no-clipping: Don't clip features to the size of the tile. If a feature overlaps the tile's bounds or buffer at all, it is included completely. Be careful: this can produce very large tilesets, especially with large polygons.
  • -pD or --no-duplication: As with --no-clipping, each feature is included intact instead of cut to tile boundaries. In addition, it is included only in a single tile per zoom level rather than potentially in multiple copies. Clients of the tileset must check adjacent tiles (possibly some distance away) to ensure they have all features.

Reordering features within each tile

  • -pi or --preserve-input-order: Preserve the original input order of features as the drawing order instead of ordering geographically. (This is implemented as a restoration of the original order at the end, so that dot-dropping is still geographic, which means it also undoes -ao).
  • -ao or --reorder: Reorder features to put ones with the same attributes in sequence, to try to get them to coalesce. You probably want to use this if you use --coalesce.
  • -ac or --coalesce: Coalesce adjacent line and polygon features that have the same attributes. This can be useful if you have lots of small polygons with identical attributes and you would like to merge them together.
  • -ar or --reverse: Try reversing the directions of lines to make them coalesce and compress better. You probably don't want to use this.

Adding calculated attributes

  • -ag or --calculate-feature-density: Add a new attribute, tippecanoe_feature_density, to each feature, to record how densely features are spaced in that area of the tile. You can use this attribute in the style to produce a glowing effect where points are densely packed. It can range from 0 in the sparsest areas to 255 in the densest.
  • -ai or --generate-ids: Add an id (a feature ID, not an attribute named id) to each feature that does not already have one. There is currently no guarantee that the id added will be stable between runs or that it will not conflict with manually-assigned feature IDs. Future versions of Tippecanoe may change the mechanism for allocating IDs.

Trying to correct bad source geometry

  • -aw or --detect-longitude-wraparound: Detect when adjacent points within a feature jump to the other side of the world, and try to fix the geometry.
  • -pw or --use-source-polygon-winding: Instead of respecting GeoJSON polygon ring order, use the original polygon winding in the source data to distinguish inner (clockwise) and outer (counterclockwise) polygon rings.
  • -pW or --reverse-source-polygon-winding: Instead of respecting GeoJSON polygon ring order, use the opposite of the original polygon winding in the source data to distinguish inner (counterclockwise) and outer (clockwise) polygon rings.

Setting or disabling tile size limits

  • -M bytes or --maximum-tile-bytes=bytes: Use the specified number of bytes as the maximum compressed tile size instead of 500K.
  • -O features or --maximum-tile-features=features: Use the specified number of features as the maximum in a tile instead of 200,000.
  • -pf or --no-feature-limit: Don't limit tiles to 200,000 features
  • -pk or --no-tile-size-limit: Don't limit tiles to 500K bytes
  • -pC or --no-tile-compression: Don't compress the PBF vector tile data.
  • -pg or --no-tile-stats: Don't generate the tilestats row in the tileset metadata. Uploads without tilestats will take longer to process.
  • --tile-stats-attributes-limit=count: Include tilestats information about at most count attributes instead of the default 1000.
  • --tile-stats-sample-values-limit=count: Calculate tilestats attribute statistics based on count values instead of the default 1000.
  • --tile-stats-values-limit=count: Report count unique attribute values in tilestats instead of the default 100.

Temporary storage

  • -t directory or --temporary-directory=directory: Put the temporary files in directory. If you don't specify, it will use /tmp.

Progress indicator

  • -q or --quiet: Work quietly instead of reporting progress or warning messages
  • -Q or --no-progress-indicator: Don't report progress, but still give warnings
  • -U seconds or --progress-interval=seconds: Don't report progress more often than the specified number of seconds.
  • -v or --version: Report Tippecanoe's version number

Filters

  • -C command or --prefilter=command: Specify a shell filter command to be run at the start of assembling each tile
  • -c command or --postfilter=command: Specify a shell filter command to be run at the end of assembling each tile

The pre- and post-filter commands allow you to do optional filtering or transformation on the features of each tile as it is created. They are shell commands, run with the zoom level, X, and Y as the $1, $2, and $3 arguments. Future versions of Tippecanoe may add additional arguments for more context.

The features are provided to the filter as a series of newline-delimited GeoJSON objects on the standard input, and tippecanoe expects to read another set of GeoJSON features from the filter's standard output.

The prefilter receives the features at the highest available resolution, before line simplification, polygon topology repair, gamma calculation, dynamic feature dropping, or other internal processing. The postfilter receives the features at tile resolution, after simplification, cleaning, and dropping.

The layer name is provided as part of the tippecanoe element of the feature and must be passed through to keep the feature in its correct layer. In the case of the prefilter, the tippecanoe element may also contain index, sequence, extent, and dropped, elements, which must be passed through for internal operations like --drop-densest-as-needed, --drop-smallest-as-needed, and --preserve-input-order to work.

Examples:

  • Make a tileset of the Natural Earth countries to zoom level 5, and also copy the GeoJSON features to files in a tiles/z/x/y.geojson directory hierarchy.
tippecanoe -o countries.mbtiles -z5 -C 'mkdir -p tiles/$1/$2; tee tiles/$1/$2/$3.geojson' ne_10m_admin_0_countries.json
tippecanoe -o countries.mbtiles -z5 -C './filters/limit-tiles-to-bbox 5.8662 47.2702 15.0421 55.0581 $*' ne_10m_admin_0_countries.json
  • Make a tileset of TIGER roads in Tippecanoe County, leaving out all but primary and secondary roads (as classified by TIGER) below zoom level 11.
tippecanoe -o roads.mbtiles -c 'if [ $1 -lt 11 ]; then grep "\"MTFCC\": \"S1[12]00\""; else cat; fi' tl_2016_18157_roads.json

Environment

Tippecanoe ordinarily uses as many parallel threads as the operating system claims that CPUs are available. You can override this number by setting the TIPPECANOE_MAX_THREADS environmental variable.

GeoJSON extension

Tippecanoe defines a GeoJSON extension that you can use to specify the minimum and/or maximum zoom level at which an individual feature will be included in the vector tileset being produced. If you have a feature like this:

{
    "type" : "Feature",
    "tippecanoe" : { "maxzoom" : 9, "minzoom" : 4 },
    "properties" : { "FULLNAME" : "N Vasco Rd" },
    "geometry" : {
        "type" : "LineString",
        "coordinates" : [ [ -121.733350, 37.767671 ], [ -121.733600, 37.767483 ], [ -121.733131, 37.766952 ] ]
    }
}

with a tippecanoe object specifiying a maxzoom of 9 and a minzoom of 4, the feature will only appear in the vector tiles for zoom levels 4 through 9. Note that the tippecanoe object belongs to the Feature, not to its properties. If you specify a minzoom for a feature, it will be preserved down to that zoom level even if dot-dropping with -r would otherwise have dropped it.

You can also specify a layer name in the tippecanoe object, which will take precedence over the filename or name specified using --layer, like this:

{
    "type" : "Feature",
    "tippecanoe" : { "layer" : "streets" },
    "properties" : { "FULLNAME" : "N Vasco Rd" },
    "geometry" : {
        "type" : "LineString",
        "coordinates" : [ [ -121.733350, 37.767671 ], [ -121.733600, 37.767483 ], [ -121.733131, 37.766952 ] ]
    }
}

Geometric simplifications

At every zoom level, line and polygon features are subjected to Douglas-Peucker simplification to the resolution of the tile.

For point features, it drops 1/2.5 of the dots for each zoom level above the point base zoom (which is normally the same as the -z max zoom, but can be a different zoom specified with -B if you have precise but sparse data). I don't know why 2.5 is the appropriate number, but the densities of many different data sets fall off at about this same rate. You can use -r to specify a different rate.

You can use the gamma option to thin out especially dense clusters of points. For any area where dots are closer than one pixel together (at whatever zoom level), a gamma of 3, for example, will reduce these clusters to the cube root of their original density.

For line features, it drops any features that are too small to draw at all. This still leaves the lower zooms too dark (and too dense for the 500K tile limit, in some places), so I need to figure out an equitable way to throw features away.

Unless you specify --no-tiny-polygon-reduction, any polygons that are smaller than a minimum area (currently 4 square subpixels) will have their probability diffused, so that some of them will be drawn as a square of this minimum size and others will not be drawn at all, preserving the total area that all of them should have had together.

Features in the same tile that share the same type and attributes are coalesced together into a single geometry if you use --coalesce. You are strongly encouraged to use -x to exclude any unnecessary attributes to reduce wasted file size.

If a tile is larger than 500K, it will try encoding that tile at progressively lower resolutions before failing if it still doesn't fit.

Development

Requires sqlite3 and zlib (should already be installed on MacOS). Rebuilding the manpage uses md2man (gem install md2man).

Linux:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libsqlite3-dev zlib1g-dev

Then build:

make

and perhaps

make install

Tippecanoe now requires features from the 2011 C++ standard. If your compiler is older than that, you will need to install a newer one. On MacOS, updating to the lastest XCode should get you a new enough version of clang++. On Linux, you should be able to upgrade g++ with

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test
sudo apt-get update -y
sudo apt-get install -y g++-5
export CXX=g++-5

Docker Image

A tippecanoe Docker image can be built from source and executed as a task to automatically install dependencies and allow tippecanoe to run on any system supported by Docker.

$ docker build -t tippecanoe:latest .
$ docker run -it --rm \
  -v /tiledata:/data \
  tippecanoe:latest \
  tippecanoe --output=/data/output.mbtiles /data/example.geojson

The commands above will build a Docker image from the source and compile the latest version. The image supports all tippecanoe flags and options.

Examples

Check out some examples of maps made with tippecanoe

Name

The name is a joking reference to a "tiler" for making map tiles.

tile-join

Tile-join is a tool for copying and merging vector mbtiles files and for joining new attributes from a CSV file to existing features in them.

It reads the tiles from an existing .mbtiles file or a directory of tiles, matches them against the records of the CSV (if one is specified), and writes out a new tileset.

If you specify multiple source mbtiles files or source directories of tiles, all the sources are read and their combined contents are written to the new mbtiles output. If they define the same layers or the same tiles, the layers or tiles are merged.

The options are:

Output tileset

  • -o out.mbtiles or --output=out.mbtiles: Write the new tiles to the specified .mbtiles file.
  • -e directory or --output-to-directory=directory: Write the new tiles to the specified directory instead of to an mbtiles file.
  • -f or --force: Remove out.mbtiles if it already exists.

Tileset description and attribution

  • -A attribution or --attribution=attribution: Set the attribution string.
  • -n name or --name=name: Set the tileset name.
  • -N description or --description=description: Set the tileset description.

Layer filtering and naming

  • -l layer or --layer=layer: Include the named layer in the output. You can specify multiple -l options to keep multiple layers. If you don't specify, they will all be retained.
  • -L layer or --exclude-layer=layer: Remove the named layer from the output. You can specify multiple -L options to remove multiple layers.
  • -Rold:new or --rename-layer=old:new: Rename the layer named old to be named new instead. You can specify multiple -R options to rename multiple layers. Renaming happens before filtering.

Zoom levels

  • -z zoom or --maximum-zoom=zoom: Don't copy tiles from higher zoom levels than the specified zoom
  • -Z zoom or --minimum-zoom=zoom: Don't copy tiles from lower zoom levels than the specified zoom

Merging attributes from a CSV file

  • -c match.csv or --csv=match.csv: Use match.csv as the source for new attributes to join to the features. The first line of the file should be the key names; the other lines are values. The first column is the one to match against the existing features; the other columns are the new data to add.

Filtering features and feature attributes

  • -x key or --exclude=key: Remove attributes of type key from the output. You can use this to remove the field you are matching against if you no longer need it after joining, or to remove any other attributes you don't want.
  • -X or --exclude-all: Remove all attributes from the output.
  • -i or --if-matched: Only include features that matched the CSV.
  • -j filter or --feature-filter=filter: Check features against a per-layer filter (as defined in the Mapbox GL Style Specification) and only include those that match. Any features in layers that have no filter specified will be passed through. Filters for the layer "*" apply to all layers.
  • -J filter-file or --feature-filter-file=filter-file: Like -j, but read the filter from a file.
  • -pe or --empty-csv-columns-are-null: Treat empty CSV columns as nulls rather than as empty strings.

Setting or disabling tile size limits

  • -pk or --no-tile-size-limit: Don't skip tiles larger than 500K.
  • -pC or --no-tile-compression: Don't compress the PBF vector tile data.
  • -pg or --no-tile-stats: Don't generate the tilestats row in the tileset metadata. Uploads without tilestats will take longer to process.

Because tile-join just copies the geometries to the new .mbtiles without processing them (except to rescale the extents if necessary), it doesn't have any of tippecanoe's recourses if the new tiles are bigger than the 500K tile limit. If a tile is too big and you haven't specified -pk, it is just left out of the new tileset.

Example

Imagine you have a tileset of census blocks:

curl -O http://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/TABBLOCK/2010/tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.zip
unzip tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.zip
ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.json tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.shp
./tippecanoe -o tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.mbtiles tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.json

and a CSV of their populations:

curl -O http://www2.census.gov/census_2010/01-Redistricting_File--PL_94-171/California/ca2010.pl.zip
unzip -p ca2010.pl.zip cageo2010.pl |
awk 'BEGIN {
    print "GEOID10,population"
}
(substr($0, 9, 3) == "750") {
    print "\"" substr($0, 28, 2) substr($0, 30, 3) substr($0, 55, 6) substr($0, 62, 4) "\"," (0 + substr($0, 328, 9))
}' > population.csv

which looks like this:

GEOID10,population
"060014277003018",0
"060014283014046",0
"060014284001020",0
...
"060014507501001",202
"060014507501002",119
"060014507501003",193
"060014507501004",85
...

Then you can join those populations to the geometries and discard the no-longer-needed ID field:

./tile-join -o population.mbtiles -x GEOID10 -c population.csv tl_2010_06001_tabblock10.mbtiles

tippecanoe-enumerate

The tippecanoe-enumerate utility lists the tiles that an mbtiles file defines. Each line of the output lists the name of the mbtiles file and the zoom, x, and y coordinates of one of the tiles. It does basically the same thing as

select zoom_level, tile_column, (1 << zoom_level) - 1 - tile_row from tiles;

on the file in sqlite3.

tippecanoe-decode

The tippecanoe-decode utility turns vector mbtiles back to GeoJSON. You can use it either on an entire file:

tippecanoe-decode file.mbtiles

or on an individual tile:

tippecanoe-decode file.mbtiles zoom x y
tippecanoe-decode file.vector.pbf zoom x y

Unless you use -c, the output is a set of nested FeatureCollections identifying each tile and layer separately. Note that the same features generally appear at all zooms, so the output for the file will have many copies of the same features at different resolutions.

Options

  • -s projection or --projection=projection: Specify the projection of the output data. Currently supported are EPSG:4326 (WGS84, the default) and EPSG:3857 (Web Mercator).
  • -z maxzoom or --maximum-zoom=maxzoom: Specify the highest zoom level to decode from the tileset
  • -Z minzoom or --minimum-zoom=minzoom: Specify the lowest zoom level to decode from the tileset
  • -l layer or --layer=layer: Decode only layers with the specified names. (Multiple -l options can be specified.)
  • -c or --tag-layer-and-zoom: Include each feature's layer and zoom level as part of its tippecanoe object rather than as a FeatureCollection wrapper
  • -S or --stats: Just report statistics about each tile's size and the number of features in it, as a JSON structure.
  • -f or --force: Decode tiles even if polygon ring order or closure problems are detected

tippecanoe-json-tool

Extracts GeoJSON features or standalone geometries as line-delimited JSON objects from a larger JSON file, following the same extraction rules that Tippecanoe uses when parsing JSON.

tippecanoe-json-tool file.json [... file.json]

Optionally also wraps them in a FeatureCollection or GeometryCollection as appropriate.

Optionally extracts an attribute from the GeoJSON properties for sorting.

Optionally joins a sorted CSV of new attributes to a sorted GeoJSON file.

The reason for requiring sorting is so that it is possible to work on CSV and GeoJSON files that are larger than can comfortably fit in memory by streaming through them in parallel, in the same way that the Unix join command does. The Unix sort command can be used to sort large files to prepare them for joining.

The sorting interface is weird, and future version of tippecanoe-json-tool will replace it with something better.

Options

  • -w or --wrap: Add the FeatureCollection or GeometryCollection wrapper.
  • -e attribute or --extract=attribute: Extract the named attribute as a prefix to each feature. The formatting makes excessive use of \u quoting so that it follows JSON string rules but will still be sorted correctly by tools that just do ASCII comparisons.
  • -c file.csv or --csv=file.csv: Join attributes from the named sorted CSV file, using its first column as the join key. Geometries will be passed through even if they do not match the CSV; CSV lines that do not match a geometry will be discarded.
  • -pe or --empty-csv-columns-are-null: Treat empty CSV columns as nulls rather than as empty strings.

Example

Join Census LEHD (Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics) employment data to a file of Census block geography for Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

Download Census block geometry, and convert to GeoJSON:

$ curl -L -O https://www2.census.gov/geo/tiger/TIGER2010/TABBLOCK/2010/tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.zip
$ unzip tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.zip
$ ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.json tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.shp

Download Indiana employment data, and fix name of join key in header

$ curl -L -O https://lehd.ces.census.gov/data/lodes/LODES7/in/wac/in_wac_S000_JT00_2015.csv.gz
$ gzip -dc in_wac_S000_JT00_2015.csv.gz | sed '1s/w_geocode/GEOID10/' > in_wac_S000_JT00_2015.csv

Sort GeoJSON block geometry so it is ordered by block ID. If you don't do this, you will get a "GeoJSON file is out of sort" error.

$ tippecanoe-json-tool -e GEOID10 tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.json | LC_ALL=C sort > tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.sort.json

Join block geometries to employment attributes:

$ tippecanoe-json-tool -c in_wac_S000_JT00_2015.csv tl_2010_18157_tabblock10.sort.json > blocks-wac.json