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Project HaosBuilder was started with the idea to create environment which should improve process of building Mapnik XML map files. Basically it can be thought of as a Mapnik IDE.

Creating a nice style, a look, of your rendered map can be a tedious task, constantly changing XML and rendering. HaosBuilder tries to speed up the process by unifying editing and rendering that are separated by a single keyboard shortcut.

Project name

HaosBuilder name is a combination of Chaos and Builder. C was dropped because haos has the same meaning in slavic languages (I'm from Croatia). So, while using HaosBuilder rather then creating XML chaos you will create styles and rules to render beautiful maps.


HaosBuilder is developed on ArchLinux and its written in Python using wxPython and Mapnik python bindings, it runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

SoftwareArchLinuxWindowsXPMac OS 10.5

(1) About dialog uses embeddedimage which was added in wxPython 2.8.8, you can still use HaosBuilder, you only need regenerate using img2py utility

Features and goals

First release, HaosBuilder 0.1 'Ceres' was just a proof of concept, basically look it works kinda thing.

Next release will include new XML editor features, like search, color coding and folding, which can be found on issues page.


  • loading, editing, saving Mapnik XML map file
  • rendering CTRL+R
  • export rendered image to PNG CTRL+E
  • zoom/pan using mouse
    • left click - pans
    • CTRL+ left click - zoom in
    • SHIFT+ left click - zoom out
  • zoom pan with keyboard
    • left, top, right, down - pans half an image in desired direction
      • CTRL - pans 25% of an image
      • SHIFT - pans 10% of an image
      • CTRL+SHIFT - pans 1px of an image
    • pageup, pagedown - zoom in, zoom out
  • set user defined map scale, otherwise it would be zoomed to map bbox


  • save current editing session to a project
  • extend XML editor features, like comment/uncomment current line


HaosBuilder running on ArchLinux with Awesome window manager.



Clone the repository and run.

hg clone


For demonstration purposes there is a demo Mapnik XML and shapefiles in the 'demo' directory that can be started by running HaosBuilder, opening demo.xml file and rendering.