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This is the TileBuilder tile server. It serves image tiles for CATMAID. TileBuilder is a self-contained Java application that launches a web server on a configurable port (default: 8080). TileBuilder reads images in a specialized HDF5 format which can be generated with the Fiji plugin from the /scripts directory.

TileBuilder has been tested to run with Java 7 and 8.

Simple Installation (using the pre-built TileBuilder.war)

  • Create a directory that you want to run TileBuilder from on your web server and change to that directory. For example, go to your home (~) directory and create the directory "tilebuilder":
cd ~
mkdir tilebuilder
cd tilebuilder
  • Within the directory you created, create another directory that will later hold the images TileBuilder will serve.
mkdir images
  • customize the file you just downloaded:

    • source_image_dir
    • tile_dir
    • writable_tile_dir
  • run TileBuilder java -jar tilebuilder.war

Command line options

These command line options can be used when running TileBuilder:

  • --server.port=9000 runs Tilebuilder on port 9000 instead of the default (8080)
  • -Dlevel=DEBUG to enable debug output


TileBuilder responds to tile requests via HTTP with the syntax for TileSource type 9, described in detail in the CATMAID documentation:


Here, imagename identifies the HDF5 file containing the image data (imagename.h5) and its associated description file (imagename.yaml), stackname identifies the name of the HDF5 Group within the HDF5 file, s is the slice index, r is the row (y-coordinate), c is the column (x-coordinate), z is the zoom level.

To display an image with TileBuilder in CATMAID, import it via the Importer admin tool in CATMAID.


Maven 3 is used to manage dependencies and compile the project. To create a new WAR file, use the following command: mvn package. The generated tileserver.war file can be found in the target folder.

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