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Seems like the local Mapnik layer over at Wikimedia's toolserver re-renders map changes faster in various zoom levels than official main Mapnik layer. How comes? Does deliberately choke the re-rendering speed to save server load?

asked 24 Feb '12, 21:03

Kozuch's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

edited 25 Feb '12, 23:58

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦

Generally OpenStreetMap aims to have its tiles updated as fast as possible, as one of its main purposes is for it to be useful to mappers. Sparing some caveats, the turn around time from mapping to appearing on the tiles is often only a few minutes. However, the system in place to decide which tiles and when to render things is reasonably complex being a delicate balance between keeping things as up-to-date as possible while not overloading the system. A more detailed response of how the system works can be found at

Given this balance between load and update frequency, the various tileservers out there, might choose different tradeoffs depending on their hardware characteristics and the load they are serving.

With respect to the toolserver and, I could imagine a couple of reasons for why the toolserver may currently appear faster in some cases than However, it mostly depends on what zoom levels you are referring to and how much delay you are seeing between when you have edited and when the changes show up. Normally though I would expect the toolserver to be somewhat slower in updating than the server. However, is serving more than an order of magnitude more tiles, so they need to distribute the load over multiple servers, which might cause some of the delays

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answered 25 Feb '12, 23:54

apmon's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

edited 26 Feb '12, 00:31

It is great to see other rendering services catch up in speed and quality. If others do tiles as good as, or even better than we do, then that's the best possible proof that with OSM everyone can have their own tiles.

Re-rendering at OSM's server is certainly not "deliberately choked" but is of course subject to performance, and also follows a different policy than that of the Wikimedia toolserver.

If the toolserver rendering works better for you - use the toolserver. There's no shame in that.

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answered 24 Feb '12, 22:09

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 26 Feb '12, 00:00

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦

Seems like several comments were deleted from this answer... I can understand if someone deletes his/her own comment (apmon seems to have converted his comment to an answer) but can not really find a proper reason for deleting comments of others (mine amont others)... Such a behaviour shows weakness of an indivitual who made such thing and only destabilizes the community. I really do not think we need some kind of censorship here...

(26 Feb '12, 10:01) Kozuch

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question asked: 24 Feb '12, 21:03

question was seen: 6,589 times

last updated: 26 Feb '12, 11:41

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum