Yesterday we announced a new version of TileStream that includes the ability to composite multiple layers and serve them as a single flat layer, radically increasing the speed of maps that display multiple layers. To help map makers take full advantage of this new feature, today we’re releasing a new set of modular tilesets that can be mixed and matched with each other, with other public MapBox tilesets, or with custom layers.

Two of the layers are extremely basic base layers: World Blank Light and World Blank Bright. These consist just of land data from OpenStreetMap. Two more layers, World Borders Dark and World Borders Light provide borders and labels similar to those in the rest of our World series of tilesets, but with a fully transparent background. These could be combined with one of the World Blank layers, or perhaps one of our terrain layers from Blue Marble or Natural Earth.

Here is an example of World Borders Dark combined with Natural Earth II. Note that the source layers are stored as two individual MBTiles files on the TileStream server, but served as a single flat layer.

Natural Earth II composited with World Borders Dark.

If you have a MapBox account, we will soon roll out the ability to add public tilesets like these to your custom TileStream maps without having to copy the MBTiles file to your account. This means you can start playing with them right away, and they won’t use up a tileset slot in your hosting plan. The new building-block layers are available for download on MapBox.com.