MapTiler Desktop has a default set of basemaps you can choose from to modify the look of your map preview. However, you’re not limited to these default basemaps as it is possible to add a custom basemap service. In this article, we’ll show you how to use MapTiler Cloud as a custom basemap service in MapTiler Desktop. You can also add a basemap from MapTiler Server, check it out here.
Choosing the map from MapTiler Cloud
In order to add a custom basemap service to MapTiler Desktop, you’ll need the URL of the TileJSON of the map you want to use as the basemap. Getting it from MapTiler Cloud is really straightforward. Simply sign in to your MapTiler Cloud account and navigate to the Maps section in the left-hand side menu. Next, choose the map you wish to add to MapTiler Desktop. In this example, we’ll use the “Outdoor” map from the set of standard maps available in MapTiler Cloud.
After clicking on the thumbnail of the chosen map, you’ll be taken to the page with its details:
Scroll down to the Raster tiles section and copy the URL of the TileJSON with 512x512 raster tiles:
Adding the basemap to MapTiler Desktop
It’s really easy to add the chosen basemap to MapTiler Desktop. Just open any file supported by MapTiler Desktop which you’d like to raster and click on the “Change basemap” button located in the lower right-hand corner of the application window:
You’ll see the dialog window where you can choose one of the currently available basemaps. Now, paste the TileJSON URL you copied from MapTiler Cloud to the text field at the bottom of the window and click the “Add layer” button:
If you did all the previous steps correctly, you should see the new basemap available in the list:
Click on the thumbnail to choose the new basemap. The dialog window will close and you’ll see the basemap change:
And that’s it! Now you can preview your map with a custom basemap of your choice. This setting will persist throughout the application lifetime, so the same basemap will be also visible in the preview screen after you render the map:
Creating your own map
Of course, you are not limited to choosing from the standard set of maps that we used in this tutorial. MapTiler Cloud offers the Style Editor tool, where you can create your own map style tailored to your specific needs. Follow this tutorial to learn more.