Sep 11, 2017

Installing MapD Charting

Try HeavyIQ Conversational Analytics on 400 million tweets

Download HEAVY.AI Free, a full-featured version available for use at no cost.


First, clone the repo to your local workstation and refer to platform-specific tips.


Mac OS X

Mac Charting


Easy install. No problems. Very few external dependencies.

npm install #downloads all dependencies and devDependencies
npm install mapbox-gl@https://github.com/mapd/mapbox-gl-js/tarball/9c04de6949fe498c8c79f5c0627dfd6d6321f307 #downloads mapbox peer dependency
npm run start

Community tested configurations

  • Node v6.11
  • Mac OS X 10.12.5
  • Xcode from Apple App Store


Linux Charting


Easy install if you use node 5.12.0. Set your node version with
nvm or n.

Community tested configurations

  • Node 5.12.0
  • Ubuntu 17.04

Windows 10

Windows Charting


You'll need to install some additional programs and libraries. Works great after you install these components:

  • Bash to run script npm run start (which you probably have installed with git bash)
  • Windows SDK 8.1 (you need this version, not Windows 10 SDK)
  • You may also need to install Visual Studio for the build tools
  • Node 7.x or below (not node 8, which is the most recent version)
  • Python 2.7x 64 bit

In addition to the components above, you should also install the following manually
from the command line:

  • install node-gyp globally (You'll see it in the warnings. npm install -g node-gyp)
  • install node-sass manually (npm install node-sass)


As the PATH on git bash and the DOS command prompt are different. You may need to run
some of the scripts from either DOS or Powershell. You need to run npm run start from bash.

Community Installation Notes

Vagrant Dev Containers

Vagrant Dev Containers

Vagrant is popular with developers and people involved in DevOps. It
allows you to install MapD Charting inside a Linux VM and use development
tools on your workstation. For example, you can install MapD Charting on Windows
inside of a Linux VM and then use Visual Studio on Windows to develop a MapD
Charting application.

Install Steps

  1. Install VirtualBox
  2. Install Vagrant
  3. Copy Vagrantfile into your development folder
  4. Provision MapD Charting VM with vagrant up
  5. ssh into VM with vagrant ssh
  6. cd in /vagrant/mapd-charting/ and run npm run start

Install Tips

On Windows, you must run the Command Prompt as Administrator.

Command Prompt Run as Administrator

After you ssh into the VM, your files will be in /vagrant/mapd-charting.

Vagrant Directory

The install with vagrant up takes 10-20 minutes. The installation script will appear to
have no movement during several sections.

Cloning the mapd-charting repository took 4 minutes. There's no status report from the
script during this stage. It will look like the screen below for 4 minutes.

Cloning the MapD charting repository will take 4 mins

There will be many messages that say, WARN. You can fix these laters when you're
developing your application. The warning messages did not appear to impact the demos. The script stayed on the screen below for several minutes before moving on. There is no status update during that time.

Warning messages will appear

Accessing Linux Files from Windows

Files placed in /vagrant/ inside the Linux VM will be visible from
inside the Windows directory you started Vagrant from.

Windows file directory

You can now open your MapD Project folder in an IDE such as
Visual Studio 2017.

Visual Studio

Browser Access to MapD Visualization Projects

Use the browser on your workstation. For example, point Microsoft Edge
on Windows to

Using IE

In this workflow, you are using your Windows IDE and your Windows browser to
edit and view the MapD Charting application running on Linux.

Once the application is ready for public testing, move it to something
like AWS running Linux.

For more information on Vagrant configuration and workflows, refer to
the Vagrant documentaion.

Windows Subsystem for Linux

Microsoft designed their Windows Subsystem for Linux for with web developers working on server side applications. This method avoids the
performance hit of a VM and allows you to install MapD Charting using Ubuntu 16.04 applications that talk to the Windows kernel.


  • Windows 10 64 bit
  • Developer Mode enabled
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux — Install guide from Microsoft

At the Command Prompt, type bash.

Command prompt - bash

Note: if you don’t see a bash shell, go back and read the WSL install guide from Microsoft. There are also some tips at the end of this article.

cd into a development folder you can access from Windows.

clone mapd-charting repo into your development folder with

git clone https://github.com/mapd/mapd-charting.git

Install npm with

sudo apt-get install npm

npm install

install n using npm.

Install n using npm
cloning into MapD charting with npm

Although your experience may be different, I had some problems with
permissions when I tried to use n to install node 5.12. To solve this,
I used bash as root temporarily to install a specific version of node with n. When I do the install, I’m going to include n in the PATH.

Bash sudo

NOTE: /mnt/e/Development/ is the directory of my Windows E: drive that I do development in. /node_modules is the folder that npm installed n into.

Install node 5.12 with this command:

n 5.12

Node 5.12

Exit bash running as root.

Exit bash running as root

cd into mapd-charting and install it with npm.

npm install

Install with npm

There will be a few warnings. This is fine. After the install finishes, install the peer dependency in

Install peer dependency
npm install mapbox-gl@https://github.com/mapd/mapbox-gl-js/tarball/9c04de6949fe498c8c79f5c0627dfd6d6321f307


Start the MapD Charting demos with:

npm run start

npm run start

You can now access the demos from your web browser:

Access the demos from your browser

Open up an editor like VS Code, Atom, or Sublime and start editing the demos to get more
familiar with the MapD Charting API.

Editing with VS Code

Additional Install Information

I’m installing Windows Subsystem for Linux from Powershell, not from the Microsoft store.

Set your computer to Developer Mode.

Run in developer mode
Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

Run bash at the command prompt. It will install Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Run bash at the command prompt

Contributing to MapD Community Tips

Please add or edit this document. Do not be shy. We're just trying to create cool things with MapD and any contribution will help.

To edit this document, go to the Edit on GitHub button in the upper right.

GitHub Edit

The community docs are on GitHub. You will need to fork the repo and submit a pull request.

GitHub fork

Edit the file in Markdown.

Edit in markdown

Propose the change. Do not back down.
We will be happy to hear from you. If the change is in error, either we'll help you to fix it or the community will help. Press the button. Do it.

Propose the change

Create the pull request.

Create the pull request
Create the pull request

Change to main document will be incorporated after a human being reviews it. Please join us on the Community Forum if you have questions or would like to share your charting experience with other developers: http://community.mapd.com. Thank you.



HEAVY.AI (formerly OmniSci) is the pioneer in GPU-accelerated analytics, redefining speed and scale in big data querying and visualization. The HEAVY.AI platform is used to find insights in data beyond the limits of mainstream analytics tools. Originating from research at MIT, HEAVY.AI is a technology breakthrough, harnessing the massive parallel computing of GPUs for data analytics.