I'm using MapProxy to seed a CouchDB with tile images on a FreeBSD server.

My workflow is Tilemill -> mbtiles export -> mapproxy seed -> CouchDB. For zoom levels 10 - 17, rendering takes ~ 2-3 days, but produces a quite small db file @ ~2mb. I attribute this to the large spaces with no data and the use of link_single_color_images: true

In an effort to speed the rendering process up, I have tried rendering with mapnik.xml as my source instead of the mbtiles produced by Tilemill. All good with a tremendous speed up, but at the cost of a database that is 20x larger due to MapProxy producing a tile for every z/x/y. Most of the thousands of tiles produced are transparent with no data.

Aka link_single_color_images: true does not seem to be working with Mapnik source, but does with mbtiles as a source.

Is there a way to use link_single_color_image with Mapnik?

  • Mbtiles would have already created the aliases to a single tile. I'm suspecting that link single color image is not configured or working correctly for either case. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


So completely changed my workflow and I have compact couchdb databases in a matter of seconds/minutes from mbtiles. Reduced Tilemill -> Couchdb rendering by days.

New workflow: Tilemill -> mbtiles -> cdbtiles -> couchdb

Using more of the great open-source software by MapBox et al (https://github.com/mapbox and mapbox.com)

Couple of gotchs to installing cdbtiles, at least for my PCBSD/FreeBSD 10.0 system. See: https://www.npmjs.org/package/cdbtiles or the github

npm install cdbtiles doesn't work, use git clone as below. Had to make ln -s python2 python for mbtiles install or fix the python env

Install - FreeBSD 10.0:

  1. install node
  2. install npm (separate in FreeBSD ports)
  3. setenv CXX clang++
  4. setenv CC clang
  5. install devel/gmake
  6. npm install tilelive -g
  7. git clone https://github.com/mapbox/node-mbtiles.git
  8. cd to node-mbtiles dir
  9. npm install -g (gave me some grief, just fix errors - see above)
  10. git clone https://github.com/vsivsi/cdbtiles.git
  11. cd to cdbtiles dir
  12. npm install -g

see: https://www.npmjs.org/package/cdbtiles

Use cmd: /usr/local/lib/node_modules/tilelive/bin/copy -s pyramid --minzoom=10 --maxzoom=18 "mbtiles:///Users/user/maps/Columbus.mbtiles" "cdbtiles://"

Obviously sorted for your parameters and system.

Yields CouchDB of tiles same size as mbtiles imput file after compaction.

Access tiles from ol3:

my_tiles_couchdbLayerXYZ = new ol.layer.Tile({
    source: new ol.source.XYZ({url: "

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