UTFGrids and Madrona

MARCO UTFGrid example

UTFGrids are an elegant solution to providing scalable access to thousands of map features, and they’re a key interactive element of the 2D maps we’re developing with Madrona. However, the workflows for creating UTFGrid JSON files with Tilemill and Tilestache have until now been pretty intimately tied to the cartographic rendering of map layers.

For the MARCO Marine Planner project, we found ourselves just wanting to generate the UTFGrid JSON files directly from a shapefile. It turns out this wasn’t too difficult to do using Mapnik’s UTFGrid support. Our senior developer Matt Perry whipped up a utility called create-utgfrids in a couple of hours.

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27 August 2012