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Raster MTS

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    Upload and tile quantitative raster data
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    Take advantage of new raster visualizations in Mapbox GL
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    Efficiently fetch and animate time-series raster data

Private beta

Mapbox Tiling Service is in private beta. All features and workflows are subject to potential changes.

What is Raster MTS?

Raster Mapbox Tiling Service (Raster MTS) is a tool for creating raster tilesets. With Raster MTS, you use configuration options (tileset recipes) to transform your raster data into raster tiles. The resulting tiles are hosted on Mapbox servers for use in your applications.

Raster MTS is unique in that it accepts quantitative raster data and retains the numerical character of data all the way through visualization on a map. Together with new types of visualization in Mapbox GL, this enables you to build new types of experiences, for example:

  • View time-series meteorological temperature
  • View time-series meteorological wind forecast data
  • View categorical agricultural data

For many types of raster imagery, it is appropriate to continue using the Uploads API. The sections below will help you understand when Raster MTS is appropriate and how to use it.

How to use Raster MTS

The basic workflow for Raster MTS is:

The first step is to acquire and analyze a suitable data source. Raster MTS accepts data in a number of formats, including GeoTIFF and GRIB2, and in many cases, you may be able to directly upload data provided by a government agency to Raster MTS.
The core workflow of Raster MTS is exactly the same as the workflow for MTS. You must create a tileset source, design a recipe, and publish a tileset.
Once your tileset is published, add a raster-array Mapbox Style Spec Source to your map.
To visualize your data, plug your raster-array source into a layer, for example a raster layer, and adjust the styling to suit your needs.

Mapbox Raster Tiles

Raster MTS delivers data in the Mapbox Raster Tile (MRT) format. You may think of MRT as a wrapper containing the metadata required to describe the structure of the encoded data and to allow partial fetching of bands via HTTP range requests.

Mapbox Raster Tiles contain data which meets the following characteristics:

  • Layers: A tile has one or more layers. Two layers in a meteorological tileset, for example, could be the surface temperature and surface pressure.
  • Bands: Each layer has one or more bands identified by a string id. For example, a band id may be a UTC timestamp which identifies the time-series step, though the semantic meaning of a band is not constrained.

While any numerical format is acceptable as source input, data in each layer is encoded as a 32-bit unsigned integer. A single value (2³² - 1) is reserved to denote no data. Depending on the range and precision of your data, you must select a suitable floating point offset and scale. Given some encoded data, the value is computed as:

value = offset + scale * data

This format is a generalization of how the Mapbox Terrain-DEM v1 tileset encodes data, for which the offset is -10000 meters and scale is 0.1 meters.

Getting started

To get started with Raster MTS, the following links may be used to help walk through uploading your source data, creating raster tilesets, and publishing them to Raster MTS:

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