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I'm starting to work on Vector Tiles creation from OSM data stored in my PostgreSQL database. And I'm curious to know:

  1. Which tool and method OSM uses to create its vector tiles.
  2. Which tool/software/toolkit OSM then uses for rendering. I read somewhere that it uses Mapnik but I would need confirmation.

I know there are many ways (and tools) of creating vector tiles (mapbox/awesome-vector-tiles) but I would really like to conform to the way OSM does it for its own website.

Thanks a lot for your answers.

asked 25 Sep '20, 10:38

Flo%20Sophia's gravatar image

Flo Sophia
accept rate: 0%

  1. OSM is an ecosystem and there can be different places with vector tiles based on OSM data.
  2. presents few different maps (layers), and the default is based on OSM Carto style, which is not a vector style at all, it's purely a raster one.
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answered 25 Sep '20, 11:10

kocio's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Thanks for your answer. But maybe my questions were not properly phrased.

What I'm actually after is to know which tools are used by OSM to create and then render the vector tiles: t-rex? Tegola? etc. and then Mapnik? OpenLayers?

(25 Sep '20, 16:30) Flo Sophia

To reiterate - it's raster tiles, not vector tiles. The software stack is similar to what you get via (except much more complicated, as there are different servers serving different parts of the world).

The final "display" bit is using Leaflet, not OpenLayers.

(25 Sep '20, 16:35) SomeoneElse ♦

The base question is what do you mean by "OSM". Please be more specific.

In general sense (1) it's a broad community, which uses multiple tools for different needs, including raster or vector tiles. If you mean (2) website, than the answer is "they don't use vector tiles there".

When it comes to standard map layer, it uses OSM Carto style, which is rendered by Mapnik. But that is not the end of the road - the tiles are simply just a bunch of raster square images, nothing more. Than something like Leaflet library is used to serve the tiles in a consistent way as a map you can drag and zoom in a browser. You can read more about it here:

I'm not sure what do you ask exactly, so please give more details.

(25 Sep '20, 17:16) kocio

Thanks a lot for those details.

@SomeoneElse: The link you provided will help me, thanks!

@kocio: Sorry, I was indeed not clear at all. When I said "OSM" I was actually talking about the website and the technology behind, which serves the maps. And I also thought that the server used "vector" tiles and not "raster" tiles.

Thanks again to both of you. The information you provided really makes things clearer for me.

(25 Sep '20, 18:06) Flo Sophia

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question asked: 25 Sep '20, 10:38

question was seen: 1,997 times

last updated: 25 Sep '20, 18:06

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