I am currently trying to serve a Raster Datasheet made from several Geo(TIFF) files but I am unsure about how to go about it as I'm quite new to GIS! I need to host it online so that clients can request tiles from the server in the format: http:///tile/{z}/{x}/{y}/

For example: http://services.arcgisonline.com/arcgis/rest/services/World_Imagery/MapServer/tile/0/0/0 - something similar to this; even better with the REST API.

I am unable to host it on ArcGIS Online as I am not part of an organisation so it will be expensive for a personal uses.

Are there any free methods of hosting raster datasheets as tile servers?

If I create a tile cache using GeoServer and GeoWebCache how can I publish it so online users can navigate to the map and request tiles?

closed as too broad by PolyGeo Jan 6 '18 at 20:56

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  • Hi there, there are a lot of various tutorials out there for these operations, and you'll likely need to consult a few to see your project through to completion. Here's one I learned a lot from for using tilemill: e-education.psu.edu/geog585/node/711 – mr.adam May 7 '15 at 15:48
  • Thanks mr.adam, I wil definitely check that tutorial for more guidance. Supposing I manage to successfully convert my Tiles with a good folder structure, how will I be able to serve the tiles and implement Leaflet or OpenLayers on my website? – Kavinda JD May 8 '15 at 11:17
  • I'm unfamiliar with freehostingnoads.net, but I assume you could do it there: upload the x/y/z file structure to a directory on your freehostingnoads server, and then just write Leaflet or Openlayers code into the javascript for your page. Personally, I've used Amazon's S3 storage service for this: it's basically a dirt cheap harddrive in the cloud that you can access through http if you want. – mr.adam May 8 '15 at 12:58
  • 1
    Thanks for the help mr.adam - just managed to host the tiles!! – Kavinda JD May 8 '15 at 18:42
  • glad to hear it! It would be helpful for future users if you could answer your own question here with a brief summary of what you did. I offered some pointers but not really a full answer, so just summarizing what worked for you would be great. – mr.adam May 8 '15 at 19:22

You don't actually need a special server to serve tiles. All you need is a regular web server and your tiles created in the correct folder structure.

You might want to look into using TileMill (https://www.mapbox.com/tilemill/) to create your tiles. It will create a file in mbtiles format, which is just a database. You can then use mbutil (https://github.com/mapbox/mbutil) to extract the tiles out of the mbtiles database into the correct folder structure.

The web mapping library you is should be able to find the correct tiles.

If you're using Leaflet:


If you're using OpenLayers:

new ol.layer.Tile({
  source: new ol.source.XYZ({
  url: http://your.server.com/mytiles/{z}/{x}/{y}.png'
  • Thanks for the help Ken! Cleared a lot of doubts in my mind! – Kavinda JD May 2 '15 at 12:34

For future reference, here's a summary of what I did.

The main tutorial I used was the one given by mr.adam above. After successfully following the tutorial I managed to get a correct folder structure which I could then upload/ host.

I also tried MapTiler which you can also use to make the tiles. I personally found it to be very helpful as it creates the Leaflet.html and OpenLayers.html page for you which enables you to see a slippy map of your tiles online. The only disadvantage with using MapTiler is that

  1. It's not free
  2. You cannot create tiles from Georferenced files but you can do so with Rasters
  3. As always, there are limitations on how much you convert.

The tutorial did not have a section on implementing your tiles on a pretty slippy map, but does have a little section for you to follow, if you would like to visualise your tile server. If you decide to go this extra step, then you can view your map on ArcGIS Online for free.

Hosting/ Serving Tiles

This took some research but to host your tiles for free you would need a regular web server as indicated by Ken who gave the intial answer (see first post). I wasn't familiar with freehostingnoads.net so I decided to get a free account on x10hosting.

It was easy to set up an account and I could upload my files very quickly. To do this, navigate to the Control Panel and set up the site. Then go to another panel (called cPanel) to upload to the index of the site.

Uploading a every tile is difficult so you will need to zip everything you want to upload up and then upload this zip to the site. Finally, you can then unpack everything seamlessly.

If you have a SlippyMap .html file uploaded, navigate to it on your web browser and you should see your tiles together on one map!

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