Vector tiles

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Vector tiles are a way to deliver geographic data in small chunks to a browser or other client app. Vector tiles are similar to raster tiles but instead of raster images the data returned is a vector representation of the features in the tile. For example a GeoJSON vector tile might include roads as LineStrings and bodies of water as Polygons. Some vector tile sources are clipped so that all geometry is bounded in the tiles, potentially chopping features in half. Other vector tile sources serve unclipped geometry so that a whole lake may be returned even if only a small part of it intersects the tile.

There are currently several experimental projects serving vector tiles from OpenStreetMap data. The Mapnik Vector Tiles are one source of OSM vector tiles in GeoJSON format. The OpenStreetMap API can also be used as an ad-hoc vector tile source for OSM XML data by creating appropriate bounding box queries; the iD editor uses this mechanism to access OSM source data.

TODO

Much work required to turn this into a useful resource for people learning about vector tiles. Some sources:

Ongoing projects, people

Student projects

Discussions

Others

Services

Experimental

  • Mapnik Vector Tiles - Road Lines+Labels, Land Usages, Water Areas; GeoJSON + MVT
  • Freemap GeoJSON Vector Tiles - Freemap API delivers GeoJSON tiles of selected areas of the UK. Please contact me (nickw) on freemapinfo at gmail dot com if interested, to avoid bandwidth issues on my server.

Server

File based

Others

Formats

Client/renderer

Tile layers

SVG

Canvas

WebGL

Experiments, demos

Others

Styling

Infos

Others

Android/mobile

Generalization

Clipping

Others