TileServer PHP: MapTiler and MBTiles maps via WMTS
This server distributes maps to desktop, web, and mobile applications from a standard Apache+PHP web hosting.
It is a free and open-source project implementing the OGC WMTS standard for pre-rendered map tiles made with any map tiling software like MapTiler Desktop, GDAL2Tiles, or any other MBTiles file.
It is the easiest and cheapest way how to serve zoomable maps in a standardized way - practically from any ordinary web hosting.
It is easy to install - copy the project files to a PHP-enabled directory along with your map data.
It comes with an online interface showing the list of the maps and step-by-step guides for online mapping libraries (Google Maps API, Leaflet, OpenLayers, OL3, MapLibre GL JS, ArcGIS JS) and various desktop GIS software:
This project is developed in PHP, not because it is the best language for the development of web applications, but because it maximally simplifies the deployment on a large number of web hostings, including various free web hostings providers.
Tiles are served directly by Apache with mod_rewrite rules as static files and therefore are very fast and with correct HTTP caching headers. Only XML metadata is delivered via PHP. MBTiles are served via PHP and are therefore slower unless they are unpacked with mbutil.
MapTiler can render GeoTIFF, ECW, MrSID, GeoPDF into compatible map tiles. JPEG, PNG, GIF, and TIFF with scanned maps or images without geolocation can be turned into standard map layers with the visual georeferencing functionality (http://youtu.be/eJxdCe9CNYg).
- Apache webserver (with mod_rewrite / .htaccess supported)
- PHP 5.6+ with SQLite module (php5-sqlite)
(or another webserver implementing mod_rewrite rules and PHP)
Download the project files as a zip archive or source code from GitHub and unpack it into a web-hosting of your choice.
If you access the web address relevant to the installation directory, the TileServer.php Server should display you a welcome message and further instructions.
Then you can upload to the web hosting your mapping data - a directory with tiles rendered with MapTiler.
Tiles produced by open-source GDAL2Tiles or MapTiler Desktop and tiles in .mbtiles format can be easily converted to the required structure (XYZ with top-left origin and metadata.json file). The open-source utility mbutil produces exactly the required format.
Direct reading of .mbtiles files is supported but with decreased performance compared to the static files in a directory. The advantage is easier data management, especially upload over FTP or similar protocols.
OpenGIS WMTS 1.0.0
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Tile Service (WMTS) Both KVP and RESTful version 1.0.0: http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/wmts/
Target is maximal compliance to the standard.
Exposed at http://[...]/wmts
OSGeo TMS 1.0.0
The OSGeo Tile Maps Service, but with inverted y-coordinates: http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Tile_Map_Service_Specification This means request compatible with OpenStreetMap tile servers.
Target is "InvertedTMS" implementation used by the ArcBruTile client which is available from http://arcbrutile.codeplex.com/ and uses flipped y-axis.
Exposed at http://[...]/tms
Metadata about the individual maps in a ready to use form for web clients following the standard http://mapbox.com/developers/tilejson/ and with support for JSONP access.
Exposed at http://[...]/layer.json or .jsonp
Direct access with XYZ tile requests (to existing tiles in a directory or to .mbtiles)
Compatible with Google Maps API / Bing SDK / OpenStreetMap clients.
Exposed at http://[...]/layer/z/x/y.ext
MapBox UTFgrid request (for existing tiles in .mbtiles with UTFgrid support). Callback is supported
Exposed at http://[...]/layer/z/x/y.grid.json
Example http://osm2vectortiles.tileserver.com/ TileJSON can be used in MapBox Studio Classic, MapBox SDKs/APIs, OpenLayers, etc.
Exposed at http://[...]/layer/z/x/y.pbf
Retina / HighDPI routing with 512 tiles Use @2x suffix in url for JSONs and tiles. For example http://email@example.com
To use the OGC WMTS standard, point your client (desktop or web) to the URL of 'directory' where you installed tileserver.php project with suffix "wmts". For example: http://www.example.com/directory/wmts
If you have installed the project into a root directory of a domain, then the address is: http://www.example.com/wmts
The supported WMTS requests includes:
Other example requests are mentioned in the .htaccess.
TileServer-PHP supports all coordinates systems. You have to define it with tilejson with specification on https://github.com/klokantech/tilejson-spec/tree/custom-projection/2.2.0 Or use MapTiler to produce datasets with this specification.
Performance from the web clients
It is highly recommended to map several domain names to the service, such as:
This can be done with DNS CNAME records pointing to your hosting. The reason for this is that traditionally browsers will not send more than two simultaneous HTTP requests to the same domain - with multiple domains for the same server, you can better saturate the network and receive the maps faster.
In case the data are available in the form of a directory with XYZ tiles, then the Apache webserver is serving these files directly as WMTS RESTful or KVP.
This means performance is excellent, maps are delivered very fast, and a large number of concurrent visitors can be handled even with quite low-end hardware or cheap/free web hosting providers.
Mod_rewrite rules are utilized to ensure the HTTP requests defined in the OCG WMTS standard are served, and Apache preserves standard caching headers & eTag.
The performance should be significantly better than any other tile caching project (such as TileCache.org or GeoWebCache).
Performance graph for "apache static" comparing other tile caching projects is available online at http://code.google.com/p/mod-geocache/wiki/PreliminaryBenchmark
Limits of actual implementation
With intention, at this moment, the project supports only:
- We enforce and require XYZ (top-left origin) tiling schema (even for TMS).
HTTP Simple Authentication can be easily added to the server. Edit the .htaccess and add these lines:
AuthUserFile /full/path/to/.htpasswd AuthType Basic AuthName "Secure WMTS" Require valid-user
Create a file called .htpasswd with user:password format. You can use a command-line utility:
$ htpasswd -c .htpasswd [your-user-login]
Or an online service:
HTTPS / SSL support
TileServer.php can run without any problems over HTTPS, if required.
Microsoft Windows web-hosting
The TileServer.php should run on Windows-powered webservers with Apache installation if PHP 5.2+ and mod_rewrite are available.
With the IIS webserver hosting, you may need PHP and IIRF module (http://iirf.codeplex.com/) and alter appropriately the rewrite rules.
Credits / Contributors
Project developed initially by Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland, in cooperation with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA, USA.
- Petr Pridal - Klokan Technologies GmbH firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jason Woolard - NOAA email@example.com
- Jon Sellars - NOAA firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dalibor Janak - Klokan Technologies GmbH email@example.com
Tested WMTS/TMS clients
- QuantumGIS Desktop 1.9+ - open with Layer->Add WMS layer http://www.qgis.org/
- ESRI ArcGIS Desktop 10.1+ - native WMTS implementation supported http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-desktop
- ESRI ArcGIS Online - loading via WMTS protocol http://www.arcgis.com/
- ArcBruTiles plugin for ArcGIS 9.3+ - via TMS endpoint http://arcbrutile.codeplex.com/
- OpenLayers WMTS Layer - including parsing GetCapabilities http://www.openlayers.org/
- GAIA - native WMTS (issues with 3857 to be fixed) http://www.thecarbonproject.com/gaia.php
- MapBox.js - the loading of maps via TileJSON, interaction layer supported https://www.mapbox.com/mapbox.js
If you need map server with commercial support, explore the possibilities provided by the MapTiler Server.
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