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MapQuest Render Stack

This is the software stack used at MapQuest to render map tiles. It was built to support distributed, asynchronous map tile rendering and include multiple rendering styles and renderers flexibly.

Note that this software is a first release and the build system was recently converted to GNU Autotools, so it is quite likely that there are still issues remaining. If you find build or other errors, please report them on the github issues page.


First, you'll need the prerequisites:

  • GNU Autoconf >= 2.68
  • GNU Automake >= 1.11.1
  • ZeroMQ >= 2.1.10 < 3.0
  • Google Protocol Buffers >= 2.4.0
  • Mongrel2 >= 1.7.5
  • libGD >= 2.0.35
  • Mapnik >= 2.0
  • libcurl >= 7.19.5
  • libmemcached >= 0.49
  • python >= 2.6
  • boost >= 1.45
  • libpq

You should be able to run the standard autotools generate, configure, build cycle:

./ ./configure make && make install

Use "./configure --help" to see the configuration options. If you want debugging output use "./configure --enable-debug"

You will also need the following Python modules for the worker:

  • PIL (Python Imaging Library)
  • geojson
  • Shapely


Please see the examples/ directory for some example configuration files. Note that configuration files will vary from location to location and what works for us may not work for you.

Mongrel2 requires some special setup to load its configuration file into a SQLite database before running, please see the Mongrel2 documentation for details.


The map stack expects an existing working PostGIS + Mapnik2 setup. If this is already present, you have configured the worker to point to this style file and the handler & worker storage configurations, you should be able to run:

./tile_handler -c tile_handler.conf -C dqueue.conf -i localhost_0 & ./tile_broker -C dqueue.conf -n "broker_localhost" & python py/ worker.conf dqueue.conf &

Mongrel2 should now be serving tiles on the port that you set up in its configuration file.