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TileMill is a desktop application (by MapBox) for making beautiful interactive maps. It's the "design studio" for journalists, web designers, researchers, or cartographers. Runs on Windows, iOS and Linux.

See also Geovisualisierung and Kurs Webkarten publizieren (u.a. mit TileMill).

 Video tutorial deutsch and english (2 min.) by Geometa Lab



  • Import Formats:
    • File Formats: Shapefile, CSV (with column named 'WKT' or 'GEOJSON', encoded as WKT or GeoJSON)
    • Databases: Spatialite, PostGIS
    • Raster (see 'raster-colorizer' in dev. version, will be in next version)
  • Export Formats:
    • Raster: PNG, PDF
    • SVG (Vector Graphics)
    • MBTiles
    • Mapnik XML
    • MapBox Online.


Howto use TileMill

  • Five-part series (plus bonus 6th part) about explorations making choropleth maps using PostGIS, TileMill, Mapnik and Google Maps from Chicago Tribune including source code for the client (HTML, Javascript) and Python serving as tile server and simple HTTP server: http://blog.apps.chicagotribune.com/2011/03/08/making-maps-1/

Notes on publishing interactive maps:

  • Given a TileMill project (styling configuration) you can
    • directly publish to MapBox Online.
    • generate MBTiles which then are rendered with other tools (see MBTiles).
    • export Mapnik XML.
  • An ArcGIS project (MXD) can be converted to a TileMill project, including all symbols, renderers, and labels, using the Arc2Earch Sync Extension/Plugin [2].


CartoCSS is a styling language used by TileMill and CartoDB Online.

TileMill Screenshot

Notes on using CartoCSS:

  • Always specify zoom levels as either >= or < . Don't use = or =< or >
  • Two space indents. No tabs.
  • space after : but no before
  • If there is a &minscale_zoom18;, ignore it. These really mess up any attempts to run the style at z19 Dashes, not underscores, in layer names
  • Avoid restating defaults, e.g. don't add point-allow-overlap = false


HowTo TileMill