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OSM vector tiles in custom coordinate systems SotM 2019


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OpenMapTiles is an open-source set of tools for processing OpenStreetMap data into zoomable and web-compatible vector tiles, which are ready to use in OpenLayers, Mapbox GL, Leaflet, QGIS as well as mobile applications.

This talk gives an overview of the OpenMapTiles tools to produce vector tiles in coordinate systems other than Mercator while keeping all the features, such as interactivity to create powerful region-specific applications.

Today’s de-facto global standard is a Spherical Mercator projection because it preserves shape and angles. The entire world looks like a square, which makes it easy to work with on a computer. However, such a transformation causes several issues like distortion of sizes where places around the equator are visually smaller than those near poles. That’s why new global coordinate systems were developed.

There are also many local coordinate systems with a long tradition. They perfectly fit the need to display a particular country/area in the most acceptable way. They are heavily used, especially by governments. OpenMapTiles can serve as a base map for displaying data in a different coordinate system or for view/print purposes.

There is also a hosting service based on OpenMapTiles called MapTiler Cloud, which offers the same ability to be displayed in a different coordinate system than Mercator.

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OSM vector tiles in custom coordinate systems SotM 2019

  1. 1. OSM Vector Tiles in custom coordinate systems Jiri Komarek <>
  2. 2. Why (not) Mercator Mercator Lambert Azimuthal Gall-Peters Eckert II Ellipsoidal * Images by Strebe via Wikipedia CC-BY-SA 4.0
  3. 3. - OpenMapTiles pipeline can be modified to create tiles in custom coordinate systems and grids - Great for local (national) coordinate systems Beyond Mercator - Local coordinate systems
  4. 4. WGS84 vector tiles - available now !
  5. 5. Coordinate systems – Try now - WGS84 (EPSG:4326) available now in MapTiler Cloud! - Lambert is about to be deployed - more coordinate systems coming soon - including ready-to-use OpenLayers example - Vector tiles with correctly defined TileGrid - rasterized tiles also available - XYZ, WMTS and Static Maps API
  6. 6. Coordinate systems – Try now
  7. 7. Maps powered by OpenMapTiles - Set of open-source tools for vector maps - 200 million people see OpenMapTiles every month - -
  8. 8. 1. Vector tile schema - Defines map layers and attributes - e.g. buildings, road, ... - Independent of the source data - Usually OpenStreetMap - Can also be used for your own data - Adopted by Luxembourg's national geoportal - Institut Cartogràfic i Geològic de Catalunya - Inspiration for Ordnance Survey OpenZoomStack
  9. 9. 2. Creating vector tiles - Combination of several sources - OpenStreetMap - Wikidata (for 63 languages) - Natural Earth (for nice overviews) - The tools can be modified to work with your own data instead
  10. 10. 3. Ready-to-use map styles - Several styles ready to be used - Many visually different maps from the same vector tiles - Compatible with any data following the schema - With prepared sprites and fonts
  11. 11. - PBF-encoded MVT - Stored in GeoPackage - Full possibility of Tile Matrix Set definition - Utilizing work-in-progress Vector Tiles extension spec - Displayed with OpenLayers + proj4js - Actually correct TileGrid definition - Easy to combine with your own data (raster or vector) - Using ol-mapbox-style to apply GL JSON styles Coordinate systems – How it’s done
  12. 12. Latest releases - docks and piers - multilingual street names - park names - POI improvements 3.9 - November 2018 - water layers updates - missing islands, intermittent rivers - boundary fixes - volcanoes - POIs - dormitories, parking - Indonesian, Basque/Euskara, Occitan and Corsican 3.10 - June 2019
  13. 13. 3.11 - planned features - planned to release in Q4 2019 - make contributions easier - review and update external repositories - rendering of administrative boundaries - revision of used Natural Earth data - try to reduce number of repositories
  14. 14. Generate the map yourself - all sources available on GitHub with tutorials - for simple start use ./ -
  15. 15. … or download pre-generated tiles - The map tiles for selected areas - Planet, continents, countries, cities, … - Free to download (for non-commercial use) - Regular weekly updates available - Additional global data: - Contour lines vector tiles for planet - Global hillshading raster tiles - Global cleaned DEM data
  16. 16. Project vision - universal map schema for many applications - create a beautiful basemaps with general layers that contain topographic information - keep the low size of the tiles and planet (60-70 GB)
  17. 17. Custom additional layers - Any “custom” layer can be created as a separate tileset - Process only the data you need, use the core OpenMapTiles data for the rest - Utilize the whole OpenMapTiles toolchain - Sample for creating custom skiing layer from OpenStreetMap - Step-by-step guide on State of the Map 2018 (or search for “SotM 2018 OpenMapTiles”)
  18. 18. Real-world examples - Outdoor - Hiking, Cycling, Skiing - Open Infrastructure Map
  19. 19. Thematic layers - additional thematic map data components - in MapTiler Cloud free for non-commercial - layers: - Hiking - soon available - Winter sports - in progress - Infrastructure - Sea map
  20. 20. MapTiler & Open-source TileServer-GL Node.js server for serving vector maps as well as on-the-fly rasterization. OSMNames Place names from OpenStreetMap. Downloadable. Ranked. With bbox and hierarchy. Ready for geocoding. WebGLEarth An open-source virtual globe using WebGL with plug-and-play API compatibility with LeafletJS library. Search in a database of all spatial coordinate systems, accessible via API and user-friendly web interface.
  21. 21. Thank you for your attention!