Andy Allan

Lightning Map Tiles

A Vector Approach to Raster Maps


Many of the maps you see created from OpenStreetMap data use the battle-hardened mod_tile software stack to render images on-demand directly from a PostGIS database. To work around some of its inherent limitations, Andy started working on an alternative approach based on the mapnik-vector-tile software, storing the map data in protocol-buffer based vector tiles. This opens up a range of cartographic features, from faster map drawing times to easing the burden of hosting multiple styles.

Andy will discuss the approaches taken, the pitfalls encountered and the future possibilities made possible using this vector tile approach.

About the author

Andy created the OpenCycleMap map layer, and is now providing high-quality map tiles to hundreds of applications and websites through his Thunderforest mapping platform. He is also the author of the CartoCSS version of the "Standard OpenStreetMap Style" (see workshop on Sunday.)