Our highspeed map tiler: Windshaft


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Our highspeed map tiler: Windshaft

We often find ourselves needing a simple high speed and decoupled map tile server to generate maps from PostGIS as fast as possible without sacrificing developmental flexibility.

At the same time we wouldn't be Vizzuality without also >needing >to style these maps with a modern cartographic language.

Today we're really pleased to introduce a node.js library called windshaft that makes integrating a simple high speed map tiler with your application as simple as possible.

Windshaft give you:

  • Pluggable routing to provide customisable tile API URL endpoints
  • Renders all data or data restricted by SQL query
  • Generates image and UTFGrid tiles
  • Accepts stores serves and applys map styles written in the Carto markup language (same markup as Mapbox Tilemill)
  • Serves Infowindow information
  • Focus on handling concurrent requests

These days we are using more and more Javascript for front and back end development. We think this little language that could really hits the sweet spot for map tile servers including great concurrency small footprint and deep support for Mapnik the popular Open Source map renderer.

Being a dynamic map renderer windshaft commits some map server sins in it's raw form but the idea is that you the developer actually want to graft your own auth/metrics/caching/scaling on top of decent core components. Same old story: high cohesion low coupling makes us happy.

To download and start using Windshaft today check out the source on Github