When trying to display a geojson layer in TileMill, is it possible to access the 'properties' of each feature?

My geojson looks like this:

        "type": "Feature", 
        "geometry": {
            "type": "Point", 
            "coordinates": [2.22614, 48.8765]
        "properties": {
            "type": "stop",
            "name": "SOME_NAME",
            "color": "#ff0000"

and I would like to display the name in properties/name, using the color in properties/color.

Is it possible? Properties are clearly accessible since one can write this and it works:

#id[type='stop'] {
  /* various css rules */

But is it possible to use properties in the css rules themselves? This for instance does not work:

#id[type='stop'] {
  marker-line-color: [color];

(or any variation with or without quotes inside or outside brackets for 'color').

If it's not possible, in what other format should I transform the geojson in order to access properties of each element from the css?

1 Answer 1


Data properties can be used for filters in selectors (ie the #id[type='stop'] part), but TileMill cannot currently assign colors or most other property types based on values in the data.

Instead, you would have to create a filter to check the data, then assign the color manually:

#id[type='stop'] {
  [color='#ff0000'] { marker-line-color: #ff0000; }
  [color='#00ff00'] { marker-line-color: #00ff00; }
  // etc.

This is a limitation of Mapnik, the rendering engine behind TileMill. Support for assigning more values based on the data is a planned feature, but not yet available.

Currently the only style properties that can accept data values are:

  • marker-width
  • marker-height
  • text-orientation
  • building-height
  • shield-name
  • text-name
  • marker-file (within the URI)
  • shield-file (within the URI)
  • point-file (within the URI)

Since marker-file is supported, another option you have is creating a bunch of different SVG icons containing the appropriate color code in their name (eg stop-#ff0000.svg). Then you could have a style like this:

#id[type='stop'] {
  marker-file: url("icons/stop-[color].svg");
  • Thanks! I had finally figured out after some testing that it didn't have anything to do with geojson; you can indeed read and assign values to text-name but not to color. Cool to know it's a planned feature (sad to know it's already been two years...)
    – Bambax
    Commented Mar 9, 2014 at 1:09
  • I was not able to get the attribute-based marker-file path to work. I tried double quotes, single quotes, and no quotes, but couldn't get it. I pasted the whole path instead to make sure I had it right, and I did because it worked fine. Also tried it nested, not nested, and without attributes, but still no soup. Kept getting an "unable to download" 403 error in CartoDB. Any ideas??
    – abettermap
    Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 1:40

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