15 July 2016 Releases

Kibana 4.5.3 and 4.1.10 released to fix tile map visualizations

By Court Ewing

Today we’re shipping Kibana versions 4.5.3 and 4.1.10, which use Elastic’s new tile service by default. The tile map settings are also now configurable, so users can use other leaflet-compatible tile services.

These releases are available right now on the download page.

Elastic Tile Service

The Elastic Tile Service is brand new, is the default tile service for Kibana, and requires no configuration to use. That said, it does currently have two key limitations that we want to be upfront about.

First, the current service only supports zooming up to level 8. With this zoom level, users will be able to see major cities and lakes spread across small countries and US states. We’d love to provide additional zoom levels, but we need to evaluate usage first as each additional zoom level adds considerable bandwidth and scaling requirements for the service. If we do increase the zoom levels in the service, users will be able to take advantage of the additional zoom capabilities with only a configuration change.

Second, the current tiles are less detailed than the old tiles. Again, this is something we’d like to improve upon, and if we do, users will get the updated tiles without having to upgrade Kibana.

It is also worth mentioning that the Elastic Tile Service is not meant to be a general tile server solution outside of Elastic applications (see Terms of Service).

Custom tile map services

If robust map details and zoom capabilities are more your jam, then you can configure Kibana to use other tile service providers instead:

For 4.5.3:

tilemap.url: 'https://example.com/{z}/{x}/{y}.png'
tilemap.options.attribution: '© [Example](http://example.com/copyright)'
tilemap.options.maxZoom: 18

For 4.1.10:

tilemap_url: 'https://example.com/{z}/{x}/{y}.png'
tilemap_attribution: '© [Example](http://example.com/copyright)'
tilemap_max_zoom: 18

How we got here

Since the beginning of time, Kibana has used MapQuest as its tile service provider for map visualizations. MapQuest’s tile service is excellent, and their permissive usage requirements meant that most Kibana users could have beautiful map visualizations without any cost or configuration.

On June 15th, MapQuest announced that they’d be discontinuing the direct tile access API that Kibana was leveraging. On Monday, July 11th, the service was discontinued, and maps in Kibana broke.

We missed this announcement. This was a huge blunder on our part, and it resulted in broken maps across the entire Kibana ecosystem. We sincerely apologize to all of our users, and we promise to do better.

We have just begun our internal postmortem process, and that will yield more concrete steps to prevent something like this from happening in the future. For now, moving entirely away from default third party services while also making the provider configurable in the event of any future service outage are our immediate steps.

Wrapping up

These releases are immediately available on our downloads page.

If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on our forums, Twitter, or IRC.