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I'm looking for advice and recommendations.

We want to create a web map that has client pan/zoom capabilities for around 10,000 clients. We want to use custom rendered OSM tiles served from our own server. On top of the OSM tiles we need to map point and line features that change color(state) every two minutes. How would you recommend we do this? Would Leaflet work? How should we store/serve the point/line features. Should we store them in a shapefile, csv file, sql server database, etc? We can't store them in the OSM tiles because they need to change colors. Also, we don't want to buy anything if possible.

Any help, insights you can offer would be most appreciated.
Thank you!

asked 04 Aug '18, 00:16

SeattleHeather's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 04 Aug '18, 00:18

Generally, you have the option of transferring your overlay to the client either as raster data (ie an image) or as vector data (ie structured information that contains the coordinates and status of every feature and the client then draws them). If you can construct a mechanism whereby the client is only informed of changes of object state, so that initially you transmit youe 5000 objects but then regularly you only transmit a (supposedly much smaller) state change information, that could work well with vectors. Vectors will also have the advantage that the client knows about them, so you can do something like hovering over an object changes its colour or so.

If you have to basically refresh all objects all the time, vector might be too resource intensive, and transmitting just a PNG with all the overlay stuff is preferable. Typically you could use simple WMS server in the backend for that, translating the data from a database into a PNG image for display by OpenLayers or Leaflet. Check out the OSM Inspector ( or an example of a web page that uses a tiled OSM base map and displays database-controlled WMS layers on top.

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answered 04 Aug '18, 07:30

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Frederik Ramm, do you have any suggestions/guidance as to how to create database-controlled WMS layers? Free software that we can use to do this? Thanks so much for your help so far. :)

(30 Oct '19, 17:55) SeattleHeather

MapServer (see or GeoServer (see are the obvious Open Source choices.

(30 Oct '19, 19:52) Frederik Ramm ♦

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question asked: 04 Aug '18, 00:16

question was seen: 1,887 times

last updated: 30 Oct '19, 19:52

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