This article will show you how to choose the best and most suitable output format for your maps generated by MapTiler Desktop.
Tile output formats
After you are done with georeferencing and one step before the rendering, it is possible to decide, whether you want to save your maps as a Folder, as an MBTiles file, or in a form of a GeoPackage. Each option has advantages and disadvantages regarding the speed of serving tiles, the simplicity of manipulation with output, and viewing software support.
The folder contains a structure of different tiles sorted into directories according to the zoom levels. To load a folder on the hosting server takes longer, but the response on the website is then faster.
MBTiles is a single file, that can be easily loaded to any hosting and the upload time is shorter. However, the response for the users of your website is a bit slower than for the Folder structures. MBTiles are also suitable for the import of maps into mobile devices.
GeoPackage is an exchange format standardized by Open Geospatial Consortium. It is also a single file, that can be easily loaded to any hosting and the upload time is short. Apart from Mercator projection, GeoPackage supports other coordinate systems, which are often country-specific. The generated GeoPackage file (.gpkg) can be compliant to MBTiles format which makes it compatible with many viewers and software tools.
Direct upload to MapTiler Cloud, Amazon S3, or Google Cloud Storage from MapTiler Desktop supports GeoPackage.
If you render smaller maps or maps for your mobile device, use GeoPackage or MBTiles, depending on your preferences or software support. For larger maps use GeoPackage and upload to MapTiler Cloud for fast and stable access. You can also use upload the GeoPackage file to S3-like service and host it from there. The folder output format is suitable for small maps, or if you have your own hosting solution.