I'm using ubuntu 12.04. I installed mapnik from packages as described here: https://github.com/mapnik/mapnik/wiki/UbuntuInstallation now I want to run node-mapnik-sample-code from here: https://github.com/mapnik/node-mapnik-sample-code

The example is:

node ./examples/simple/render.js examples/stylesheet.xml map.png

but if I run this command it shows the errormessage

Error: Could not create datasource for type: 'shape'  encountered during parsing of layer 'world' in Layer at line 11 of     'examples/stylesheet.xml'
    at Object.<anonymous> (/home/tiletest/node-mapnik/examples/simple/render.js:27:5)
    at Module._compile (module.js:456:26)
    at Object.Module._extensions..js (module.js:474:10)
    at Module.load (module.js:356:32)
    at Function.Module._load (module.js:312:12)
    at Function.Module.runMain (module.js:497:10)
    at startup (node.js:119:16)
    at node.js:902:3

do I have to edit the stylesheet.xml or how can I run the example ?

  • I don't know the linked tut, please try to follow the guide at www.switch2osm.org to setup a local OSM rendering stack. Then test it with the local tileserver. If it works you can go further and test the node.js examples. Sorry but I never used node.js, so I can't provide further help :/
    – Mapper
    Mar 4, 2014 at 12:22
  • yes you can edit the xml to change the shapefile and its path as you wish. Mar 4, 2014 at 13:35
  • I don't know what should be changed, the path to the shapefile is ok
    – foobarbaz
    Mar 4, 2014 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


The traceback tell you that the shapefile could not be parsed. The first things to check are:

  1. In stylesheet.xml the datasource is defined by:

    <Parameter name="file">data/world_merc.shp</Parameter>

    Be sure that this shapefile is located in this path in your computer.

  2. Be sure that the mapnik shapefile plugin is well installed by doing:

    $ python -c "from mapnik import DatasourceCache as c; print ','.join(c.plugin_names())"

    If you see shape in the list, it's good. Otherwise, you will have to re-install Mapnik with this plugin.

Otherwise, the error could be harder to find and you should probably try following the guide at www.switch2osm.org

  • I checked the input from the parameter name, the shapefile is located int this path. when executing python -c "from mapnik import DatasourceCache as c; print ','.join(c.plugin_names())" it shows csv,gdal,geojson,ogr,osm,postgis,raster,shape,sqlite so I think the shapefile plugin is available
    – foobarbaz
    Mar 4, 2014 at 13:46
  • have you built mapnik from github source or did you use apt-get for installation? Mar 4, 2014 at 14:04
  • I used apt-get for installation
    – foobarbaz
    Mar 4, 2014 at 14:11
  • You can try to run the shapefile_test.py to see if your shapefile plugin works well. If yes, than the problem is probably in node-mapnik-sample-code Mar 4, 2014 at 14:16
  • ok tried it. it prints Traceback (most recent call last): File "shapefile_test.py", line 4, in <module> from nose.tools import * ImportError: No module named nose.tools don't know what's that for a module
    – foobarbaz
    Mar 4, 2014 at 14:27

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