Vector Maps - Data Sources and Storage



This post will cover various sources for geospatial data and storage of that data.

Sources for geospatial data

There are two main group of providers for geospatial data:

Companies or Organisations that provide geospatial-data and services based on OpenStreetMap-data (osm)

Full-stack map-providers

Almost all of them provide services where you can create your own map styles and share them via their website/toolchain. There are various plans to cover the costs according to your needs/traffic. You can also add your own data-sets (like pets-per-squarekilometer) to show on top of various basemaps. This might be useful if you are just looking to provide some specific content on a basemap.

All services provide styling capabilities based on a pre-defined subset of map features (e.g. I haven't found playground-POIs on mapbox). You can upload additional data sources but that still involves pre-processing of raw data.

Data storage

As mentioned before, you can use the map service providers to host your geospatial data. This requires specific pre-processing locally/cloud.

The following methods of storing data are available right now:

  • cloud-based
    • format depends on map service provider
  • local
    • raw-format (e.g. as PBF)
    • database
    • (...)

Design decisions

Data Sources

  1. Use up-to-date geospatial data for limited geographic areas (e.g. Europe) provided by Geofabrik.
  2. Use planet-wide data (e.g. administrative boundaries) from OpenStreetMapData
  3. Use global data from planet.osm to add some more planet-wide data if needed.

Data Storage

  1. Geospatial data will be stored in a postgres/postgis database.
  2. Raster data will be stored locally on disk