MapBox is a suite of open source mapping tools made by Development Seed, a creative technical team based in Washington, DC. Their products help clients tell stories using maps and share them on the web and offline.
TileMill automates as much as possible for you – sharing data between projects, downloading and unzipping shapefiles, autodetecting projections, indexing SQLite databases – so that you can focus on making beautiful maps. It can read from a wide range of popular file formats and databases: ESRI Shapefile, KML, GeoJSON, GeoTIFF, PostGIS, and SQLite. It can also show satellite terrain data or make use of your DIY weather balloon aerial photography with TileMill’s raster image support.
And with a built-in data inspector, you can see details about every lake, country, or road from your datasource.
At TileMill’s core is the Mapnik rendering engine. Mapnik is a powerful, full-featured library including support for RGBA color, True Type fonts, rasters, patterns, etc. You can stamp trees across parks, add paper creases to maps. You can use your system fonts or drop pro fonts into projects. And Mapnik isn’t just beautiful. It’s also one of the fastest map rendering libraries out there.
Enrich your maps with hover tooltips and clickable pop ups. Reveal details in your data by embedding numbers, graphs, and images into your map. TileMill implements the UTF-8 grid specification – a standard for describing interactive data alongside tile images. UTF-8 grid is fast, flexible, and scalable making it perfect for mapping whole countries down to to individual city blocks. Create interactivity for hundreds of thousands of data points while maintaining high performance.
Every map you make in TileMill is mobile ready. By leveraging the portable, fast MBTiles format, each TileMill map looks and works great on the web and offline.