TileMill now supports reading vector features directly from the proprietary Esri File Geodatabase (FileGDB) format. Interoperability with the FileGDB format is a major advance for Esri users that have adopted TileMill for styling and publishing their maps but still maintain large archives of source data in FileGDB format. The new FileGDB support allows users to edit geo data in ArcMap and style it in TileMill at the same time.

You can now start styling FileGDB data in seconds just by loading the .gdb folder as a new layer into TileMill, specifying the projection, and choosing a layer. See this detailed guide for step by step instructions.

TileMill on both Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows can read FileGDB without additional plugins like the FileGDB API and without requiring an ArcGIS license. This is made possible through remarkable advances in the upcoming GDAL 1.11 release and the new OpenFileGDB driver.

To try this out, download the latest development build of TileMill for Mac or Windows:

On Linux install Node.js and then the TileMill master branch from github like:

git clone https://github.com/mapbox/tilemill.git
cd tilemill
npm install

Curious about TileMill 2 support? If you are an early adopter of TileMill 2 and Vector Tiles then expect to see FileGDB as a newly supported source format for vector tiles soon.

Get in touch if you have any questions about the new FileGDB support.