Frequently Ask Questions
Q: I get warnings when doing require('mapnik') like 'Warning: node-mapnik initialization failed...', how do I fix this?
A: Mapnik uses a plugin system for loading datasources (like shapefiles or postgis table), and for fonts. The node-mapnik build scripts attempt to auto-configure the paths needed to pass to Mapnik to auto-load these plugins and fonts by creating a 'settings.js' file with the paths, and the proper creation of this file is what failed.
A default install of Mapnik2 (aka Mapnik trunk) will have put fonts in /usr/local/lib/mapnik2/fonts and datasource plugins in /usr/local/lib/mapnik2/input. A simple solution is to edit the installed 'settings.js' file and to add these paths. A more proper solution is to rebuild the latest mapnik trunk (svn.mapnik.org/trunk) as this should contain fixes to the 'mapnik-config' script that is needed to properly build up the 'settings.js' file automatically.
Note a trick to see where Mapnik fonts and datasource plugins live is to use the Mapnik python bindings:
$ python -c "import mapnik2;print mapnik2.fontscollectionpath,mapnik2.inputpluginspath"
Q: Why am I getting "TypeError: Object # has no method ..." when calling a method of a mapnik.Map?
A: Likely you forgot to use the 'new' keyword to allocate a map. Do:
var map = new mapnik.Map(width,height);
Q: Why am I getting "Could not create datasource. No plugin found for type ..."?
A: Mapnik loads datasources at runtime, and the node-mapnik builds scripts leverage the 'mapnik-config' program from Mapnik trunk to find these paths at build time. If this fails or you have custom plugins you can load them manually, see below.
Q: How do I load custom fonts or datasource plugins?
A: The default paths to Mapnik's input plugins and fonts are configured at build time and written the the 'mapnik/settings.js' file, so they can be dynamically loaded at runtime.
If you want to load custom input plugins you can use the function:
And if you want to load custom fonts do:
Q: When trying to install node-mapnik I get:
node-waf -v configure build make: node-waf: Command not found make: *** [mapnik.node] Error 127
A: node-waf is the build tool provided with a node install, make sure you have node installed
Q: I get a compile error like:
[1/6] cxx: src/_mapnik.cc -> build/default/src/_mapnik_1.o ../src/_mapnik.cc:240: error: expected constructor, destructor, or type conversion before '(' token ../src/_mapnik.cc:184: warning: 'void init(v8::Handle<v8::Object>)' defined but not used
A: Your node version is too old, upgrade to at least node 0.2.4