MapBox and TileStream Integration

MapBox is a set of open source projects from DevelopmentSeed that allow you to create and host map tiles. TileStream is a paid service that gives you easy upload and management of your maps with a single monthy price. MapBox for iPad is a free application that allows you to download tile caches and bring them into the field without the need for an internet connection. Offline maps on the iPad are a compelling alternative to technologies like GeoPDF with the added benefit of exactly matching your existing desktop map symbology, labeling and renderers.

Arc2Earth now allows you to create map tile caches that are compatible with both MapBox for iPad and TileStream. You can easily export your maps directly from ArcMap and immediately have them available online or in the field.

** Exporting Tile Caches to MapBox **

Exporting to MapBox is easy. On the main Tile Exporter window, simply select the new dropdown entry for MBTiles in the Cache Format dropdown (on the Levels tab). Another dropdown will appear that allows you select if the tile cache will be a base map or an overlay layer in MapBox. When you click export, the normal tile creation process will occur followed immediately by the packaging of the tiles into the single MBTiles database format.

If you are exporting from the command line tool, use "-cf mbt"

At this point, a single file in your export directory called "YourTileExportName.mbtiles" will be created. It contains all of your map tiles and metadata in a highly compressed format. This file can be used with any of the open sources tools above. Also note that a future version of Arc2Earth will create the necessary json tiles that add interactivity to your static map tiles (identify and mouse over labels).

** Publishing to the MapBox iPad App **

The easiest way to get your map tiles onto the iPad is to use iTunes. MapBox has an excellent tutorial on this process here. Also note that you can copy over KML and KMZ files to provide additional mapping data in the field. Once you copy the data over, your map tiles will automatically appear in the MapBox application on the iPad

** Publishing to TileStream **

TileStream has an extremely easy method for deploying your tile caches to their service. You need to install DropBox and then after you register with TileStream, a custom shared folder will appear. Copy your mbtiles file to this new folder and it will appear online. More information can be found here