Tiles Layer

The Tiles Layer in TrueNorth draws map data from a map tiling service – either on the internet, over a network, or off a local data source. The tiles in TrueNorth’s tile layer are the same as those used by tiled web maps. For a more in depth description on this topic please see the Wikipedia entry on the subject.

Tiled Web Map (source: Wikimedia commons)

Tiles are often opaque – that is they are not transparent. This means when they are inserted into a map they will prevent layers prior to them in the layer drawing order from being seen.

TrueNorth caches tiles for later re-use. This caching allows TrueNorth to work offline when necessary, and it reduces network use. Users can manage the cache, and pre-cache tiles.

Tiling Services

TrueNorth supports a number of different types of web tile sources.

WMS Web Map Service While not technically a tile source, TrueNorth downloads data from WMS sources as tiles
TMS Tile Map Service A specification for tiled web maps, developed by the Open Source Geospatial Foundation.
OSM OpenStreetMap OpenStreetMap has a slightly different tile protocol similar to that developed by Google Maps
ArcGIS REST ArcGIS Server ArcGIS Server by ESRI has its own tile server protocol with partial support in TrueNorth
MBTiles MapBox Tiles A format developed by MapBox for transporting tile sets for offline viewing
Bing Maps Microsoft Bing! Bing Maps uses a QuadKey addressing system for map tiles
Google Maps Google Google Maps initially supported image based tiles but has made it much more difficult to access their data.


TrueNorth comes with a number of preconfigured Layer Templates for the most popular Tile Services such as Bing, OpenStreetMaps, and ArcGIS Online. Users can configure their own and create templates for tile sources themselves.

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