I have created a Ubuntu 14.04 tile server. I loaded an OSM base map into the POSTGIS database and created a slippy-map using OpenLayers 3.9. Then I loaded data of an overlay into the POSTGIS database and now I am trying to create a layer for it.

To create layers, the only solution with decent documentation seems to be Tilemill. But to use Tilemill on my server I have to use "SSH connection forwarding", explained here. I don't want to create a security leak into my server.

Are there any other options, with decent documentation, with which I can create custom layers for my map?

What I already 'know':

  • Create a simple map with Mapnik

  • Store shape files into the POSTGIS database

  • Use OpenLayers to display the layer

What I need to know: I have a simple overlay (created with Mapnik): enter image description here

This overlay has to be rendered into different tiles and have zoom levels, just like a OSM base map. I want to use this overlay and put it over an area on my OSM-tiled map.

What do I need to be able to create a layer that can be displayed with OpenLayers like: url: '/overlay/{x}/{y}/{z}'?

  • Noone that can help me on my way?
    – PIDZB
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 9:04
  • any success with your tiling? I need to achieve more or less the same thing. Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


This page has an awesome tutorial on how to create a complete Tile server using the stack Mod_tile, renderd, mapnik, osm2pgsql, and a PostgreSQL/PostGIS database.

If you already have a style created by the Tilemill you can export to the Mapnik format and use it to generate your tiles and render with frameworks like OpenLayers and Leaflet.

  • 1
    Thank you for your reaction. I already used this guide to create a tile server, and it works great. What I don't know is how to exactly use these components with my own custom data..
    – PIDZB
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 12:56
  • Where's your custom data? In a postgis database?
    – valdeci
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 13:03
  • Yes, I receive a shape-file that I insert into the POSTgis database.
    – PIDZB
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 13:49
  • I don't understand your problem. If you already imported the shapefile to a postgis database, you created a style with the tilemill tool, you exported to a mapnik.xml file and also used the guide to create a tile server using the created mapnik style. Where's your problem? With a running tile server you can simply call the desired URL: '/overlay/{x}/{y}/{z}
    – valdeci
    Commented Jan 8, 2016 at 14:21
  • 2
    great! i needed this info.
    – tony gil
    Commented May 7, 2016 at 19:03

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