Creating Shortbread Vector Tiles

Creating Shortbread vetor tiles consists of a couple of steps. This page provides an overview about the tile generation process. It consists of the following steps.


In order to build vector tiles, you have to provide the following dependencies:

Ubuntu/Debian: apt install curl unzip gdal-bin

Tilemaker Installation

The Shortbread vector tile schema requires a special feature of Tilemaker (sorting features in a layer by a float number). Therefore, upstream Tilemaker is not compatible. Instead, you have to install a branch by Geofabrik:

Clone Tilemaker:

git clone --branch z-order-float
cd tilemaker
mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..

Installation of Tilemaker is described in the Tilemaker Readme as well.

Clone Schema Repository

Clone the Git repository of the vector tile schema from Github:

mkdir shortbread-tilemaker
git clone shortbread-tilemaker

Download Ocean Shape Files

The vector tile schema retrieves ocean polygons fro pre-processed ocean polygon shape files by A script is provided to download and update them. It will write the shape files to the subdirectory data.

Tilemaker requires shape files in geographic coordinates (EPSG:4326) but the simplified shape file is provided in Web Mercator (EPSG:3857) only. Therefore, GDAL’s ogr2ogr is used to transform the shape file.

cd shortbread-tilemaker

Generate Vector Tileset

Generating vector tiles seems to be pretty simple but there are some show stoppers to keep in mind:

Run Tilemaker (this command should be executed from the shortbread-tilemaker directory):

tilemaker --bbox -180,-86,180,86 --input planet-latest.osm.pbf --store tilemaker-cache.dat --config config.json --process process.lua --output output_directory/

In February 2022, a server with a AMD EPYC 7452 32-Core Processor (2.35–3.35 GHz), 512 GB RAM, cache on NVMe and output to a loop-mounted hard disk drive (RAID 1) took 16:15 hours and needed up to 358 GB RAM.