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Mapping - Custom Tiles

To understand the implications and uses of this feature, you'll first need to understand what map tiles are. Briefly, web maps use a tile server to obtain map tiles for display. 

A Map Tile is a small, square image that represents a portion of a map. Map Tiles are used in web-based mapping applications to display different levels of detail for a given geographic area. They are typically created by dividing a larger map into a grid of smaller tiles, each representing a specific geographic area. These tiles can then be loaded and displayed in a web-based mapping application as needed, allowing the user to zoom in and out and view different levels of detail for a given area.

This also allows users to view maps offline, without an internet connection.

The term "map rendering" refers to the creation of a visual map from raw geospatial data. Custom map tiles allow you to use different map tiles from various GIS (Geographic Information System) service providers that provide map tiles, allowing you to use maps better suited for your purposes than the default maps in our platform. 

Our platform uses default mapping sources for iOS (Apple Maps), Android (Google Maps), and Windows and Web (Thunderforest).

Custom map tiles can be globally set on an organizational level on your Organization's Setup or individually when designing screens. The screen and fields that support this feature are: 

  • Mapping Screens
  • Data Entry Forms
    • Location Field
    • Media Field (when you specify "Include GPS Information")
    • Gallery Field Media (when you specify "include GPS Information")
Note: Tile loading times can be affected by poor device connectivity, the provider, or the types of tiles used.


Below are some examples of what custom tiles look like when viewed on an Android device. 

As can be seen, custom tiles offer a world of possibilities about the types of maps you can render in your applications and output in your reports. 

To test the examples used in the screenshots above on your platform you can use the custom tile URLs below. (instructions on how to implement and set the custom maps in your forms can be found further down in this article):

For more information on custom map tiles, here are some helpful links: 

Adding a Custom Tile Source (Global)

Navigate to the platform's left-side menu to Admin > Organization Setup > Integrations(on the top menu). Under the Global Service Endpoints section, you will find the Mapping Tiles for App property. Here you will be able to specify a URL template that must contain {z}, {x}, and, {y} placeholders. 

  • {z} represents the zoom level
  • {x} and {y} are decimal coordinates to be passed to your tile source provider. 


Adding a custom tile source at the organizational level ensures that this source is globally adopted across the application, supplanting the platform's standard mapping source.

Configuring Screens

Mapping Screens

When viewing the designer of a Map a Data Source screen, under Basic Properties, the Map Type dropdown allows for a Custom Tile Source to be selected. Once selected, the source's URL option becomes available, where you can enter the specific URL template pointing to the tile's source that the screen will use. 

Once you have clicked on Custom Tile Source, you can enter a custom tile URL from your GIS provider (or you can use one of the example URLs provided above).

Remember to Save your design changes, then go to your app and force sync, and test. 

Adding a custom tile source to a mapping screen only applies that source to the Mapping screen. Overriding the platform's default or custom global source.

Configuring Fields

When viewing a Data Entry Form's design, the following fields display Custom Tile Source options: Location Field, Media Field, and Gallery Field. 

Location Field

Under the field's Layout & Styling properties, the Display Map Type dropdown allows for a Custom Tile Source to be selected. Once selected, the source's URL option becomes available, where you can enter the specific URL template pointing to the tile's source that the field will use.

Media and Gallery Field

Under the forms Basic Properties, if the Include GPS Information is checked, the Display Map Type dropdown will allow for a Custom Tile Source to be selected. Once Custom Source is chosen, the source's URL option becomes available. You can use one of the URL Templates from our examples above if you do not have your own. The option to include GPS information is available for all media types, including Image, Audio, and Video. 

Media Field

Gallery Field

Adding a custom tile source to any field only applies to that custom source to the field. Overriding the platform's default or custom global source.

In-App Behavior

There are a couple errors you might encounter while using this feature. If you do encounter an issue one of the following in-app error messages should appear. 

Error with Map SourceThe URL specified for displaying mapping tiles is malformed or otherwise invalid. Please contact your administrator.
Error with Map ServerTile Source server issues/errors - i.g., 404 or 500 response. Unable to retrieve map tiles from the source server.

API Integrations

Most of the above-mentioned functionality is configurable via the platform's web portal. However, if the need arises to interact externally with a screen that has a custom map tile, you can update the URL used by making use of our API Explorer

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