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Mapnik can be used in a variety of ways. The most widely used options are using XML config files, using the Python bindings or using the API directly in C++.
To get first results, choose your weapon: XML, Python, C++, node.js, Ruby, Java (last two are less complete)
How to Style your Maps
How to combine Map styles and Layers
How to read in data
How to use the Mapnik Python Bindings
- See the python api docs here
- Check out the MapnikTutorials and the references at ExampleCode
- Study applications like Cascadenik or Nik2img at http://mapnik-utils.googlecode.com/
- MapnikRenderers -- Render with AGG or Cairo
- OutputFormats -- Which format to use based on speed, quality, and rendering tradeoffs.
- LabelingSupport -- Discover the intricacies of label placement.
Generating Contours - Using Mapnik with GDAL to build contours of the world.
ManagingLargeXmlFiles -- Do things once and only once using XML entities.
MapnikReferences -- Various other resources related to Mapnik and Mapping