Creating and visualizing tilesets

Creating a tileset

From the CARTO Workspace

The CARTO Workspace offers a user interface that you can use to create tilesets. The option Create a tileset is available in the Data Explorer section from the Connections tab. To create a tileset from your data, select an available connection and click on a specific table (database/project(s), schemas/datasets and tables) from the collapsible tree.

Clicking on the Create tileset button will trigger a tileset creation wizard that you can follow along to configure your tileset. For step-by-step instructions, please visit this guide.

From the Postgres console

As a CARTO Analytics Toolbox module, the Tiler’s capabilities are available as SQL procedures that can be executed directly from a psql terminal-based or from a database tool, such as aws or dbeaver.

To check that your account has access to the Tiler, try running this query:


Check the Getting Access section if you run into any errors when running the query above.

Once you are all set getting access to the Tiler, creating a tileset is as easy as opening your Postgres console and running a query. In this case, we are going to create a simple tileset (see Tileset procedures) from a couple of joined tables: one containing demographic information for the US at the census tract level, the other containing the geometries of the census tracts.

The result will be a tileset with the geometry and the total population per census tract:

USE DATABASE <analytics_toolbox_db>;
  '(SELECT g.geom, d.total_pop FROM carto-do-public-data.public.geography_usa_censustract_2019 g 
   LEFT JOIN carto-do-public-data.usa_acs.demographics_sociodemographics_usa_censustract_2015_5yrs_20142018 d 
   ON (d.geoid = g.geoid))',
    "geom_column": "geom",
    "zoom_min": 0, 
    "zoom_max": 11,
    "properties": {"total_pop": "Number"}

Visualizing a tileset

From the CARTO Workspace

The CARTO Workspace offers access to the Data Explorer, where you will be able to preview your tilesets, and Builder, CARTO’s state-of-the-art map making tool, where you will be able to style them, include them in your visualizations and share them.

Previewing tilesets from the Data Explorer

The Data Explorer offers a preview of your tilesets and displays their associated details and metadata, such as their size, number of records and statistics regarding the tile sizes per zoom level. Please refer to this page for more information regarding the Data Explorer.

Creating maps with tilesets using Builder

You can include tilesets as layers in your maps created with Builder. To do so, you have two options:

  • use the Create map option from the tileset preview page in the Data Explorer (see previous screenshot). This action will create a new map with your tileset as a its only layer.

  • adding a layer to an existing map.

For the latter option, you simply need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Add source from button in Builder, that can be found at the bottom left of the screen.

  2. Choose the Postgres connection from where your tileset is accessible.

  3. Browse your projects and datasets until you find your tileset in the data explorer tree.

  4. Select your tileset. Your tileset will then be added as a layer.

  5. Style your tileset like any other layer in Builder. For more details on how to style your layers, please visit this page.

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