OpenMapTiles v3.5: From runways to mountain peaks

New release of OpenMapTiles is here! Ready to take a look at major changes? Fasten your seatbelt, because we start at the airport!

The aeroway layer now contains runways and taxiways as linestrings starting at zoom level 11. Previously only aeroway polygons were available starting at zoom level 12, so now you can see more even at lower zoom level.
Attribute network of transportation_name layer is now filled-in for three major road networks of the USA, Transcanadian highway, and UK’s motorways and A roads. This change enables to display network-specific road shields in the map.

We also adjusted zoom levels of both transportation_name and transportation to show more roads and road numbers at lower zoom levels.

Our tiles now speak German! Together with name and name_en we added also name_de attribute that contains German name if available. This change is available for all layers having name attribute including place, poi, and waterway. Viel Spass!

Release 3.5 introduces also brand new layer mountain_peak with mountain peaks and their elevation in both meters and feets. Mountain peaks start at zoom level 7 with only the most important peaks, up to the zoom level 14, that contains all of them.

We hope you enjoyed the flight! More information available in release notes. Download prepared extracts from https://openmaptiles.com/downloads/.


New generation of Georeferencer

Georeferencer v4 is a revolution in the online processing of scanned old maps. Matching scanned maps to the real world coordinates in a web browser has never been easier.

With feedback from the previous crowdsourcing pilots in over a dozen of countries all over the world, we have decided to reimplement our online Georeferencer tool from scratch. The new version comes with many new features, improved usability and finally, after two years of development, it is available to the public!

A complete mapping platform for old maps

The Georeferencer is now a complete mapping platform which provides the full toolset for bringing the maps from paper to screen. After the maps are scanned, they can be turned into precisely located map overlays on top of modern maps.

Redesigned interface is optimised for tablets and mobile devices. With the full-screen layout, which focuses the attention on the map, no screen space is wasted while the important tools are highlighted, and you have everything in your hand. The whole tool is collaborative so multiple people can work on the same map at the same time - similarly to Google Docs. On top of that, there are tutorials available throughout the interface so the new users can start georeferencing immediately and learn to use even the advanced features and produce professional output.

Overlay recalculated instantly

When at least three control points are placed the tool can be switched to overlay mode. The old map overlays a new map and visitors can easily add points to improve the precision of the location of the map. The map position is recalculated instantly directly in a web browser. The visitors can even switch between five different transformations and see warping results on-the-fly. 

The new “My maps” sidebar allows you to add other maps as overlays to the Georeferencer tool, which can be powerful when processing a collection of seamless maps.

Various map services are available to bring the georeferenced maps to GIS tools such as ArcGIS and QGIS, web viewers such as Leaflet or OpenLayers as well as Mobile applications. The provided map services are compatible with the Web Map Tile Service (OGC WMTS). High-resolution images are displayed via International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF).

Read more about the new features at http://www.georeferencer.com/features.

Online research with Compare tool

Georeferencer mapping platform also contains a new public tool that can combine maps from various institutions from OldMapsOnline. The Compare is designed for fast searching and in-depth comparison of old maps.

Several view modes are available - besides overlaying the maps you can also study them in a Swipe mode, using a “Spy glass" or you can interactively compare multiple maps in a Grid.

Try the compare tool now at http://www.georeferencer.com/compare.

David Rumsey pilot launched

David Rumsey is the first to move maps to the new version of Georeferencer. His collection of maps contains now over 47.000 images. All are available to be georeferenced at DavidRumsey.com.

Contact us if you are interested in starting your own Georeferencer pilot.


OpenMapTiles: Vector Tiles from OpenStreetMap

After months of work, we are thrilled to announce a new game-changing open-source project!

OpenMapTiles (http://openmaptiles.org) provides the fastest way how to setup custom styled world maps with open-source software. In a few minutes, you can have your own OpenStreetMap tile server - ready for use in your websites or products.

Just download the pre-generated vector tiles and get started

The project turns the publicly available OpenStreetMap data into ready-to-use packages containing vector tiles for the whole planet, individual countries and major cities.

Downloaded map tiles can be displayed on websites with JavaScript viewers, used in native mobile applications on Android and iOS (even offline), or turned into traditional raster tiles or high-resolution images for printing.

There are online guides to get started.

Open Map Styles & Open Tile Schema

We have prepared a set of beautiful Open Map Styles for our vector tiles. The styles are free and open-source, and you can adapt the design and code for your project or commercial product however you like. Either use one of our map styles directly as your base map or as a starting point for your own map design. You can also use an open-source visual map style editor.

Open Map Styles compatible with OpenMapTiles Vector Tiles
Our new Vector Tile Schema is encoding the cartography decisions made on top of OpenStreetMap, Natural Earth and other OpenData sources and is 100% open and free to use, extend or build upon. We hope people will adapt, copy and reimplement our schema and data model in their projects while providing attribution.

Open-source tools and no vendor lock-in

The whole project is open-source, documented and comes with a license which is friendly even for business use (BSD + CC-BY). The project reuses existing many open-source components, map designs and open standards from the OSM & FOSS community and Mapbox Inc. The work on the new open vector tile schema was done in cooperation with Paul Norman and Wikimedia Foundation and was initially modelled after the cartography of the Positron base map from Carto (former CartoDB), with their permission.

With OpenMapTiles there is no lock-in to a single hosting platform or provider, and interested parties can adopt our workflow and do the tile generating as well as hosting completely independently and in-house. We offer a set of services and preprocessed data - including worldwide contour lines and hill shading datasets - to speed up the adoption of the project and applications in production use.

The OpenMapTiles project is a successor of OSM2VectorTiles, a project which won the OpenStreetMap Innovation Award of 2016 at SOtM in Brussels and which started in Switzerland as a student bachelor thesis at HSR Rapperswil in cooperation with Klokan Technologies GmbH.

Support and community

The team behind OpenMapTiles is available for commercial support and consulting and can assist with deployment and applications of the maps in products and services.

Contributions to the source code from the community are very welcome!


MapTiler 7.2: Mobile apps via Google Drive


We carefully listen to our customers and there is a new MapTiler 7.2 update packed with many most wanted features!

Send your maps to a mobile phone or tablet and use it offline - directly from MapTiler user interface. The data transfer is done via Google Drive instead of Dropbox now.

Updated 7.2 version of MapTiler includes a Resume mode which means that your MapTiler will continue working where it was stopped. From now, MapTiler can also prevent deleting of unfinished tile datasets, you can set it directly from GUI or through command line with -keep_unfinished argument.

Together with this version of MapTiler, a brand new mobile app GeoEditor is released in beta-version. It display maps made with MapTiler, with possibilities to annotate the maps with features and attached photo.
The app runs on Android and iOS phones and tablets.
See more at http://www.maptiler.com/mobile/.

Vector tiles stored in MBTiles, such as those from our http://OSM2VectorTiles.org/, can be previewed just by double click on your desktop. Direct upload of the vector tiles from MBTiles into Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage is possible as well!

MapTiler 7.2 also includes the following features:

- Help menu in MapTiler contains online tutorials, manual and link to support

- Docker image for latest MapTiler Pro on Docker Hub for easy deployment on any Linux distro or cloud: https://hub.docker.com/r/klokantech/maptiler/

- New packages for latest versions of Fedora and Ubuntu linux

- Multi-band images such as raw satellite data supported (reorder or ignore bands)

- Added Baidu maps tile format popular in China

- Geodetic tiles preset under Custom tiles

- Latest leaflet viewer for generated tiles - including custom profile

- Corners location input for easier indoor / floor maps positioning

The updated version is now available at http://www.maptiler.com/. Try it out for free now!


Allow anyone to upload files to your Google Drive with DriveUploader.com

Do you need to get from your clients or friends gigabytes of data? We do. People send us large maps and geodata, often in tens or even hundreds of gigabytes. Now they can do that directly from a web browser, by drag&drop!

To make this possible, we’ve built a pretty cool web application named Drive Uploader which works with Google Drive™cloud storage.

Check it out at https://driveuploader.com

The uploader you create looks very familiar and you can customize the design, if you need to.

We’ve built the Drive Uploader to easily receive large files (documents, pictures, video clips, aerial photos, etc.) from customers, suppliers, colleagues, family or friends.

The sender does not need to create any account, they just visit a website and use their web browser.

The main advantages of the service are:
  • No limit on size of the files
  • No need to have a Google account for the senders
  • Extremely easy to use and integrate with websites
  • Security of the transfer (Drive Uploader uses HTTPS and private storage)
  • Files are saved directly in your Google Drive™ in the folder you choose
DriveUploader is available for free! Each upload link you create on Drive Uploader is completely free of charge for the first 3 days and you can extend the period with just one click.

Embedding in websites, branding with your logo and integration to your products is possible via API and webhooks. These advanced features are available in a paid plan, together with a removal of ads.

Every Gmail account comes with free 15 GB Drive storage and affordable upgrade plans. The business and education G Suite / Google Apps account come with unlimited cloud storage. It is time to use this storage!

So, once more - the link to try is https://driveuploader.com


MapTiler helps people to recover from the Hurricane Matthew

The U.S. Government organization NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has chosen the MapTiler software from Klokan Technologies GmbH to turn the aerial photos taken after the Hurricane Matthew into a fast and reliable mapping service offered to the press and general public during the disaster recovery actions.

The speed of generating of the map tiles, as well as the reliability and scalability of the produced mapping service are able to handle hundreds of thousands of visitors. This is the main reason why our software is used for such cases.

Processing and hosting of the aerial photos happen on the Microsoft Azure cloud on Linux virtual machines running our latest MapTiler Pro on the command line. The tiles are served from Azure platform with an open-source TileServer software. It permits fast distribution of the maps to various mashups and websites, as well as opening of the map layers in the standard GIS software such as QGIS or ESRI ArcGIS. The same map tiles are directly reused thanks to the OGC WMTS standard. See the Coastal Imagery Services.

Other customers are using our MapTiler Pro (http://www.maptiler.com/) for similar tasks on their standard desktop computers, virtual machines, in private clouds or on Amazon or Google cloud platforms.

The maps produced by MapTiler during the previous flights are also used by pilots on the board of the airplanes together with open vector maps - as an extra option to standard navigation for taking new photos. More details are available at: http://blog.klokantech.com/2016/06/noaa-pilots-use-open-source-tileserver.html


OSMNames: Place names data & geocoder

Today we launch the OSMNames open-source project which provides a basic place search / geocoding functionality.

It is a lightweight search system powered by full-text engine with world-wide coverage. At the moment it is limited to place names like streets, towns, cities, administrative units, countries, etc.. It can be extended in future with other place types like lake or mountain names and even with POIs. The enhancement with postal addresses (house numbers and zip codes) is also possible.
Try it at:

Install the software easily together with the provided global data on your own server with the docker container osmnames-sphinxsearch. The process is described in the documentation.

The OSMNames project consists of two parts:

OSMNames data available for download

The core of the OSMNames project is the pre-processed data. It comes in easy to handle text format, the TSV (tab separated value). This allows filtering with UNIX text processing tools (grep, sed, awk, less, cut, etc.) and direct indexing via a full-text search engine.

You can download the data at http://osmnames.org/download/

It contains over 21 million gazetteer records with lat/lon location, bounding box, names in several languages, identifiers for OSM and Wikidata, etc. All the records are sorted by precalculated numerical importance (derived from Wikipedia and existing Nominatim ranking). Our website recommends how to filter the data by country, geographical location or type to create smaller extracts.

Search engine software

The project comes with an open-source server software providing a place search API suitable for a basic geocoder with autocomplete functionality. The server is written in Python and is powered by the high-performance C++ open-source full-text engine called Sphinx Search.

The OSMNames project is a result of the cooperation of Klokan Technologies GmbH and HSR Rapperswil.

Klokan Technologies GmbH is using the service in products such as MapTiler or Georeferencer. We are excited to release it now and hope more users can help us to make it even better! Hope to see OSMNames adopted by more individuals and companies soon.