I have the following use case:

A graphic designer is assigned to design a map style. This style should later be deployed on a PostGIS (osm2pgsql) / Mapnik / Tirex based tile server stack.

So far I found TileMill to be a great tool for designing the map.

While on the production server, the OSM data would be served from PostGIS, on the designers computer I want to avoid the PostGIS setup. I even want to avoid to run the PostGIS server before the design is finished.

Is it possible to design a map using TileMill on base of a simple OSM export (SHP File?) and to directly use the same style on a PostGIS based server?

I guess I could change all the data source settings in the tilemill definition by hand - but the process should be as automatic as possible so the design could be continuously improved and applied again.

asked 26 Mar '13, 20:55

AddisMap_Alexander's gravatar image

AddisMap_Ale...
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edited 26 Mar '13, 21:01


You could potentially do an osm2pgsql or imposm import, then export all tables into shape files, and let the designer work on those; that could then be changed by a simple script if you go into production. However shapefile sources are less flexible than database sources; you cannot do WHERE clauses or ORDER BY (for example, when drawing city labels you might want to draw those with larger population first). The lack of WHERE clauses can be compensated by filter rules but that will lead to a less efficient style.

Having direct access to a database (through a port forward if necessary) will make things more complex during design but will also give a more efficient result.

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answered 26 Mar '13, 21:16

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
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Yes, it's an answer to the question, and pretty much what I would have said too.

(27 Mar '13, 17:09) Andy Allan

I am not really familiar with this, so perhaps it is a silly comment. But would potentially using a sqlite db work on the designers computer? Hopefully that would be much easier to set up than the full postgis / postgresql and gives similar functionality.

Otherwise, yes, I'd agree, giving the designer access to a remote postgis db over the network (or via a VM) probably seems like the most appropriate solution in this situation

(27 Mar '13, 17:32) apmon

self-answer - but I hope for simpler ones:

One pragmatic solution would be to provide the designer with a PostGIS installation, for example in a Virtual machine to do the designing.

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answered 26 Mar '13, 20:57

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question asked: 26 Mar '13, 20:55

question was seen: 3,704 times

last updated: 27 Mar '13, 17:32

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