Hello, I'm new to all things OSM. I'm quite confused on all of the different directions I need to go to get the result I want. I want to convert our website slippy maps from google maps api maps to OSM maps, either as background terrain OSM baselayer within the Google MAPs API, or as terrain OSM tiles within an OpenLayers UI. I'd prefer to do everything with OpenLayers and serve my own OSM tiles if possible, but I've come to enjoy the ease of data management using Google's Fusion tables for my point data. I guess I can't have it all. I have FTP access to our hosted website (which has PostgreSQL databases) but I don't have command line access (though it is a unix based server). I have a spare machine I could load up with some sort of LAMP type of setup, but I can't have that on the internet, it would only be for generating a tile set for the area in question, and then copying those tiles to my real webhost for serving tiles for an OpenLayers Map.

I've browsed the switch2osm.org site, and it was a little helpful in explaining that I need to generate tiles, then serve those tiles somehow on my webhost. My tiles don't need to change over time, so I only need to generate them once. I've seen that Michal Migurski has created a collection of files on Github for generating a US OSM terrain map (https://github.com/Citytracking/Terrain) but I'm confused on how to use this. I've downloaded TillMill for windows, and from what I gather this is supposed to allow me to use OSM data to create terrain tiles. I only want to create tiles for an area of about 5 states. I'm confused as to what to do next in order to create these terrain tiles. Can anyone provide any suggestions on my strategy to create those terrain tiles, and if my end result of using and serving those tiles on my own webhost is possible? Any thoughts would be welcome to this confused beginner. Thank you. _Jan

asked 16 Feb '12, 19:01

JLD_in_DC's gravatar image

JLD_in_DC
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Pre-generating tiles for "just 5 [USA] states" would already take a huge amount of disk space if you're interested in the higher zooms. I wouldn't pre-generate tiles for anything bigger than, say, France, and even then only if you have a lot of disk space and CPU to throw at it.

The other prliminary question is : do you really need to generate and serve your own tiles ? Unless you want a custom map rendering or know that you will outgrow the tile usage policy, you can use one of the existing tiles provider and add you own data on top of it using OpenLayers. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble, and the tiles will be kept up to date.

If after that you still want to (pre)render you own tiles, check mapnik which is the most common way to do things. There's quite a lot more information on the wiki and many techniques depending on use-case, but it's getting out of my area of expertise so I'll let somebody else answer.

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answered 17 Feb '12, 10:23

Vincent%20de%20Phily's gravatar image

Vincent de P... ♦
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question asked: 16 Feb '12, 19:01

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last updated: 17 Feb '12, 10:23

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