Strategic working group/New Tile Layer Guidelines

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Tile layer guidelines

The following guidelines allow for the proposal of additional tile layers for display on the OpenStreetMap.org web site slippy map layer selector. Tile layers proposed for inclusion should be added to the proposals section of the Featured_tiles page.

Acceptance of an additional layer for the main page is not automatic and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria as a guide. Anyone may propose tile layers for consideration. If the evaluation of a particular tile layer leads to a discussion, please have the discussion on the talk page, and provide only a single, compromise table entry on the Featured_tiles page, with a link to the discussion if required.

  • A proposed tile layer must satisfy the following hard criteria.
    • Internally supported
       The service provider / author must be in favor of having their tiles on OSM.org
    • Global scope and coverage
       Proposed tile layer must cover the globe.
    • Capable of meeting traffic demands
       Proposed tile layer service must be capable of accepting traffic volume from OSM.
    • Reliable service
       Proposed tile layer service must be reliable.
       Reliable in terms of uptime and availability.
    • Up to date data
       Services maintaining minutely updates preferred, but periods up to two weeks may be acceptable depending on the content of the map.
       Styles intended for "debugging" must be generally no more than one day out of date.
  • A proposed tile layer should satisfy the following soft / arbitrary criteria.
    • Unique
       The proposed tile layer should offer something unique in approach or execution.
       This for example could be based on particular theme or created using a particular set of software/technology which is not currently represented.
    • Interesting
       This hugely arbitrary criteria includes pleasing aesthetics, social significance and benefit, humour, timeliness, newsworthiness, appeal to the community and many other arbitrary value judgements.
    • Non-commercial
       Non-commercial services are preferred. However commercial services which provide benefit to the community will be considered.
    • Free and Open
       Free and Open style and stacks are preferred.


Additional notes:

  • Requests for new layers to go to the Operations Working Group (operations@osmfoundation.org) who will use these guidelines to evaluate the proposed layer and, if accepted, implement the change.
  • There is a practical limit to the number of tile layers presented. That limit is currently undetermined.
  • Layers are not guaranteed a permanent place on the map, they may be removed at any time.
  • If a large number of new layer requests is being made, the strategy will have to be re-evaluated at that time.