[OSM-dev] Announcing Avecado, a library for creating vector tiles

Paul Norman penorman at mac.com
Fri Aug 22 03:09:15 UTC 2014

Today, MapQuest is pleased to announce the release of a new vector tile
creation library, python bindings and associated utilities, avecado
(a-VEC-ado). We hope that you may find it of some use and that it will
be useful by having another[1] tool available.


It requires C++11, a development version of Mapnik 3.0, Boost, Python,
and mapnik-vector-tile, the last of which is included as a submodule. We
hope that, after the official release of Mapnik 3.0, that we can
stabilise that requirement.

Avecado consists of four parts:

- The library itself.

- Python bindings for the library.

- avecado, a simple command-line utility for producing vector tiles.
   Since each invocation loads a Mapnik map, this is not recommended for
   generating large volumes of vector tiles. However, it can be useful
   for one-off testing and debugging of datasource definitions.

- avecado_server, a very simple HTTP server which serves vector tiles
   according to the input Mapnik map. The HTTP server is extremely basic
   and, while it might be useful for ad-hoc testing purposes, is not
   suitable for production use.

- scripts/override_xml.py, a utility for altering settings in an XML
   datasource configuration. This is useful for correcting or overriding
   any settings which may be different between the output of Mapbox
   Studio, or your configuration files in version control, and your local
   or production setups.

The library has two functions:

- make_vector_tile, which adds geometry from a mapnik query to a
   vector tile object.

- process_vector_tile, which applies post-processing operations such
   as generalization and merging like attributed features. These are not
   yet implemented.

[1] http://youtu.be/NoLJHgqDCzc?t=10m17s

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