NOAA pilots use Open-source Tileserver

Open source software Tileserver.php developed by Klokan Technologies helps NOAA pilots to acquire new aerial imagery.

The base maps pre-rendered with MapTiler are stored on a small Intel NUC I7 on board, where tileserver.php is installed. Via local Wifi, the maps are streamed to an iPad attached to a pilot dashboard showing the position of an airplane and exact area of a taken photography.

The system is in active use and was presented by Jon Sellars and Jason Woolard from NOAA on FOSS4G NA 2016. The presentation is available at https://2016.foss4g-na.org/sites/default/files/slides/FOSS4GNA_2016_ONAV_v4.


Open-source software used for hosting of maps on the board:

MapBox GL JS

The open-source library used for displaying free OpenStreetMap vector tiles (http://www.osm2vectortiles.org/).


Software used for pre-rendering of the aerial imagery into raster tiles.


Rotation of a map in Georeferencer

Some of the historical maps are unfortunately not north-oriented. To turn the map while georeferencing will save time and help to find the depicted places.

In the new user interface, it is possible to rotate the map while holding Alt+Shift.

The rotation is also automatically calculated after you assign first two ground control points on a map!

This feature will make the georeferencing easier and more convenient for the users. The rotation feature is now developed, applied in the Cynefin pilot project (http://cynefin.archiveswales.org.uk/), and it is going to be a part of the next generation of Georeferencer service.

Following short movie shows the rotation feature:


TileServer-PHP version 2.0

New version of the open-source project TileServer-PHP has just been released and is available at https://github.com/klokantech/tileserver-php

The project distributes maps to desktop, web, and mobile applications from a standard Apache+PHP web hosting. It implements OGC WMTS standard for pre-rendered map tiles made with MapTiler or available as MBTiles files.

The new features include:

MapBox Studio Classic vector tiles supported

Hosting of vector tiles in MBTiles format generated by MapBox Studio Classic is possible on a custom server with TileServer-PHP. Users can also download ready-to-use OpenStreetMap vector tiles from http://osm2vectortiles.org/downloads/ and style them with MapBox Studio Classic!

TileServer-PHP can serve the vector tiles to OpenLayers, MapBox GL JS and native Android or iOS apps.

Custom designed templates

To change look&feel of the TileServer-PHP frontpage with your own design, branding, and functionality see https://github.com/klokantech/tileserver-php/wiki/Template

WMTS for tiles in any coordinate system

MapTiler can generate tiles in a custom map projection or country specific coordinate systems (such as UK’s Ordnance Survey EPSG:27700 or Swiss CH1903 / LV03 EPSG:21781).
TileServer-PHP now serves these tiles to any GIS software via OGC WMTS standard.
Draft of an extension of TileJSON with support for custom projections is at https://github.com/klokantech/tilejson-spec/tree/custom-projection/2.2.0

Hybrid and WebP map tiles 

Hybrid tiles (JPG+PNG) where partly transparent tiles can be combined with opaque ones in one layer are supported. This solution and new WebP format are mostly used on satellite imagery to reduce the size.

TileJSON and WMTS for remote tiles

Serving WMTS or TileJSON for remote tiles hosted on Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage.  As an online service already runs on http://wmts.maptiler.com/. Upload is quick and easy with MapTiler: http://www.maptiler.com/how-to/hosting-on-amazon-s3/


Epsg.io: Transformation of coordinate systems

Epsg.io was successfully updated with latest EPSG database 8.9. We are happy to announce new features:

Transformation of coordinate systems

http://epsg.io/transform/ can transform one coordinate system into another just with one click.

Decimal to degrees/minutes/secs

To convert decimal to degrees/minutes/secs was never easier. Just click the button at http://epsg.io/transform/

Get coordinates on a map

Any place in the world in any coordinate system. Pick a location of your choice. You can choose from six different base maps at http://epsg.io/map/


My Location Control for Google Maps API v3

We have made a Google Maps API v3 component, which anybody can use in custom projects to add a control showing current geolocation with just one line of code:

var geoloccontrol = new klokantech.GeolocationControl(map, mapMaxZoom);

after including in the HTML header this JavaScript:

<script src="https://cdn.klokantech.com/maptilerlayer/v1/index.js"></script>



for an example code and documentation.

It adds the standard control to the map - and once tapped - it shows the blue circle around your location with size derived from precision of the location data available. If you don't drag the map it will keep you positioned once you move.

This control has been developed for viewer automatically generated by http://www.maptiler.com/ software - which creates tiles for map overlays and custom layers made from images and raster geodata.


Precision Agriculture with MapTiler

MapTiler helps with the fast delivery of aerial images taken with multispectral crop monitoring sensors, usually carried by a drone or an aircraft.

After quick processing with our software, the outcomes are available online to farmers and end-users - with the fast map tile hosting on Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage. See an example:

Such maps can be accessed online from any mobile device, showing your own GPS position on the location.

MapTiler Start or Plus on a desktop computer can be used for publishing similar geodata and creating a customer portal with selected maps.

Automation of the process on the server side, including upload of map tiles to a cloud hosting, can be done with a command line using MapTiler Pro - integrated into a workflow or company backend.

Many thanks to agricam.co.il for valuable inputs on the process and for the sample imagery.


Transcription in Georeferencer

Tithe Maps are interesting source of historical information from 19th century in the United Kingdom.

During our project, we came to a new challenge: Each map was accompanied by a schedule listing each map item by number. Next to it, we needed to create a connection between the map itself and the accompanied listing with further information about the individual parts of the map.

New generation of Georeferencer will be able to handle textual information on the maps and connect the content with another sheets if needed. IIIF technology was used to handle high-resolution scans together with our IIIF viewer. This enabled us to add transcriptions and rotate the maps directly in the web viewer. 

The preview of transcription tool is available in the following tutorial: