Deployment of open source vector tile technology with UN Vector Tile Toolkit
2021-09-30, 08:00–08:30, Aconcagua

The UN Vector Tile Toolkit (UNVT) project started in 2018 and it has been developed as a part of the UN Open GIS Initiative which aims to develop an Open Source GIS bundle that meets the requirements of UN operations. The toolkit includes a set of Nodejs open source scripts to be used with existing and proven open-source vector tile software (such as Tippecanoe, Maputnik, Mapbox GL JS (ver. 1.x) and vt-optimizer). This talk will introduce an example of UNVT deployment at UN and other examples including vector map delivery using Raspberry pi.

After development of the basic toolsets by early 2020, we started developing an open source vector tile web map service in UN. At each phase of the vector tile development (i.e. data conversion, styling, hosting and optimizing), UNVT was utilized to proceed the process efficiently. At the first phase, the production phase, we have converted the vector tile of the whole world and updated them weekly with the developed nodejs script and Tippecanoe. The source data is stored in PostGIS data base and extracted by tile by tile due to its large data size. At the following styling phase, in order to efficiently develop a style fie, a hocon file was prepared for each style layer, then compiled into a single style json. At hosting phase, we have developed nodejs based simple vector tile hosting server which deliver the pbf files derived from mbitiles upon each request.

Recently, UNVT has been used even outside the United Nations. This talk will briefly introduce such examples as much as possible.

The UNVT was first introduced at FOSS4G 2019.
Our toolkit is now released from the following our GitHub accounts:

Authors and Affiliations

Taro Ubukawa (1) ,
Diego Gonzalez Ferreiro (2),
Paolo Frizzera (2),
Oliva Martin Sanchez (2),
Hidenori Fujimura (3)
(1) Geospatial Information Section, Office of Information and Communications Technology, United Nations
(2) Service for Geospatial, Information and Telecommunications Technologies, United Nations Global Service Centre, UN Department of Operational Support
(3) Geospatial Information Authority of Japan


Use cases & applications


Data visualization: spatial analysis, manipulation and visualization


3 - Medium. Advanced knowledge is recommended.

Language of the Presentation


Taro Ubukawa is a senior geospatial expert at the United Nations Geospatial Information Section. He is one of the co-leads of UN Vector Tile Toolkit and works for vector tile deployment in UN since December 2019. Before that, he worked for GIS data development in Japan for years.