Maps on a Stick Version 2 Released


2 min read

We’ve released Maps on a Stick Version 2 on MapBox. This tiny tool provides a user-friendly interface for combining custom maps with existing KML and KMZ files. Version 2 makes customization — new tile layers and new data — a simple task that users can do.


We’ve packaged both a minimal version of Maps on a Stick with no maps and a pre-packaged version using World Light tileset and some example KML from Both the download and the tilesets are packaged as zip files — you’ll need to decompress each in order to use them, see:

What is new

With this release, you can drag and drop new tiles onto a USB drive and transfer files much more easily. There’s also KML and KMZ support, and simple interaction with content embedded in KML points. For more technical details about what is new with this release, check out this update on

With Maps on a Stick we’re not trying to make a data editor or tool renderer of datasets. It just lets you use .mbtiles or KML and mash them up. If you are looking for developer tools to package rendered tilesets and render GeoTIFF data as .mbtiles check out

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Adding other tiles

Maps on a Stick is pluggable. We’ve started adding tiles to MapBox and currently have tile downloads for:

In addition to these tiles on MapBox, the National Democratic Institute’s open data site — — has downloads:

What’s next

Here are some of our short term build priorities, which we hope to develop in the Fall of 2010.

  • Add support for captions on the maps, specifically targeting choropleth overlays.
  • Clean up the Windows file structure. Right now there are a lot of files to sift thought to find the “Start MapBox.bat”
  • Allow users to change colors of KML dots.

It has been great working with closely NDI’s Afghanistan team on version 2 of Maps on a Stick. You can see how NDI is using Maps on a Stick on their new open data site.

What we're doing.