I created tiles of the entire world using the Mapnik wiki for reference. I created them using a RHEL5 box. But, for some reason the Asian names are rendered as rectangles. Any tiles with Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc. render just fine, but not Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, etc. I’ve tried recompiling Mapnik from the latest (0.5.1) source but no success.
Anyone know why the characters are not rendered correctly? Font issue? Database issue? Something else?
You need the right font including support for all these in one font set, since mapnik only had support for using one font last time I heard something. (Note: I’m not saying the font name, but if you google for fallback font mapnik site:lists.openstreetmap.org you might find it.)
Looks like it was an issue with the DejaVu font. I copied AR PL ShangHeiSun Uni to /usr/local/lib/mapnik/fonts. Then I changed “DejaVu Serif Book” to “AR PL ShangHeiSun Uni Regular” in my osm.xml. That did the trick.