Installing MapBox TileMill on Ubuntu


Preparing to Work with Satellite Imagery

Time to get out of my comfort zone. I’m a Java web developer, not a GIS imagery specialist, but when I saw the post Processing Landsat 8 Using Open-Source Tools by Charlie Loyd, I just had to give it a try. Charlie’s post is a step by step tutorial on how to manipulate Landsat 8 satellite images.

There are four prerequisites:

  1. GDAL, a low-level GIS toolkit
  2. libgeotiff, to work with geotags
  3. ImageMagick, an image processing package
  4. TileMill, an open-source mapmaking app from Mapbox

This post walks through the installation of these four tools.

1. Install GDAL

I followed this install-gdal script, except that I executed the commands individually so I knew what the script was doing.

$ sudo apt-get -y install g++
$ svn checkout gdal
$ cd gdal
$ ./configure
$ sudo make install
...long build process...
libtool: install: /home/smitchell/gdal/install-sh -c .libs/gdalbuildvrt /usr/local/bin/gdalbuildvrt
/bin/bash /home/smitchell/gdal/libtool --mode=install  /home/smitchell/gdal/install-sh -c gdal-config-inst /usr/local/bin/gdal-config
libtool: install: /home/smitchell/gdal/install-sh -c gdal-config-inst /usr/local/bin/gdal-config
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/smitchell/gdal/apps'
for f in LICENSE.TXT data/*.* ; do /home/smitchell/gdal/install-sh -c -m 0644 $f /usr/local/share/gdal ; done
/bin/bash /home/smitchell/gdal/libtool --mode=finish --silent /usr/local/lib

After GDAL is installed you need to change your LD_LIBRARY_PATH. Edit $HOME/.bashrc and add the following line:


2. Install libgeotiff

Libgeotiff was the only tool that I found in the Ubuntu Software Center, although I wasn’t sure which one to install since I’m running 64-bit Ubuntu. I went with libgeotiff2.


3. Install Imagemagick

Install Imagemagick and imagick:

$ sudo apt-get install imagemagick php5-imagick

4. Install TileMill.

Finally, we are ready to install TileMill.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:developmentseed/mapbox
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tilemill libmapnik nodejs

Once installed TileMill can be started from the launcher.


That’s it, you’re done. TileMill should now start as shown below:


For my next post, I will grab images of interest to me and follow along with Charlie’s tutorial.


2 thoughts on “Installing MapBox TileMill on Ubuntu

  1. Pingback: Exploring Leaflet Raster Classes | Exploring Spatial

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s