Vector Maps - Data Sources and Storage

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Introduction

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