High-Resolution Tiles

If you've found yourself on this page, we're assuming you've

TileMill includes a number of features that make it easy to create high-resolution versions of map designs, for example to display on Apple Retina displays. Providing an alternative, high-resolution tileset will allow you to keep your maps looking crisp and readable on phones, tablets, and other devices with very high pixel density. You can use client-side code (eg. MapBox.js) to detect devices that report high pixel density and display your high-resolution version, while falling back to normal tiles for all other clients.

To create a higher-resolution set of tiles, go to your TileMill project’s settings (via the wrench icon at the top-right) and look for the slider named Scale Factor. Increasing this will increase the thickness of lines, scale of icons, and size of text. It will also adjust zoom level filters to help account for these changes (keeping similar feature density, relative sizes, etc).

Clipped labels and markers

Increasing the Scale Factor also increases the likelihood of clipped labels and markers. To help avoid this, add a buffer-size property to your project’s Map object. The default value is 128, so try doubling that to start. Eg:

Map {
    background-color: #fff;
    buffer-size: 256;

You can also increase the MetaTile size property in the project settings. See Understanding metatiles for full details.

Patterns & Textures

Scale Factor will not make adjustments for line-patterns or polygon-patterns. If you want these to be scaled up for your Retina version, you should include double-scale assets in your project and swap them out when you do your retina export. For example you could have two folders for images, images_1x and images_2x, then use a symbolic link to create a virtual folder named images that your TileMill project can reference. You would then adjust the reference location of the symlink to match your current scale factor.