Creating Shortbread Vector Tiles

Shortbread Tiles can be created with Tilemaker.

Creating Shortbread vetor tiles is very simple. Install Tilemaker & the shortbread-tilemaker settings, get the OSM & external data, and run tilemaker!

Software required


Extra software

You need ogr2ogr.

OS command
Debian/Ubuntu sudo apt install gdal-bin
(Other OS) (command)

Get Shortbread-Tilemaker settings

Clone the Git repository of the vector tile schema from Github:

git clone

Get Data

OpenStreetMap data

Tilemaker needs raw OpenStreetMap data as input. You can download it from:

Please try with a small extract first before you try to load the complete planet file.

Additional data

In the shortbread-tilemaker directory:


It will download a few required additional files into the data directory.

Generate Tiles

In the shortbread-tilemaker directory, run this command:

tilemaker --config config.json --process process.lua --bbox -180,-90,180,90 \
    --input OSM_FILE.osm.pbf --output shortbread-tiles.mbtiles

The generated data is the shortbread-tiles.mbtiles file.

Output format

Tilemaker supports a few output formats. Here mbtiles is used.

BBox PBF files

If the .osm.pbf file contains a bounding box entry in its header (this is not true for the planet), you can omit the --bbox -180,-90,180,90 part of the tilemaker command. The generation process will be much faster for smaller areas, and the output data will contain less “ocean tiles”, [[and be a little bit smaller]]??

The error message Can't read shapefiles unless a bounding box is provided. means you need to specify the --bbox option.


The above command uses the tilemaker default of storing things in memory. If you are running out of memory, you need the --store option, e.g. --store

Read more in the tilemaker documentation about on-disk storage


In February 2022, a server with a AMD EPYC 7452 32-Core Processor (2.35–3.35 GHz), 512 GB RAM, cache on NVMe and output to a loop-mounted hard disk drive (RAID 1) took 16:15 hours and needed up to 358 GB RAM to generate the whole planet.