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Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World.
By Frederik Ramm,
and Steve Chilton.
Karlsruhe Hack Weekend 29-30 October 2016
The OpenStreetMap project has its own free tile server for use by everybody. This offer is aimed mainly at those who contribute to OSM and want to see the results of their work, but also at the wider public to whom the project wants to demonstrate what is possible with its database.
One thing the project doesn't like very much though is people downloading tiles for later offline use. If this happens on a larger scale, software or users will be banned from the project's tile servers. It is often smartphone apps offering a "download for offline use" mode that are affected by this. The reason why such downloads are a problem is the sheer volume of downloaded data. Often these applications will download all tiles in a large area, on all zoom levels, generating much more traffic than a user selectively looking at some areas in a slippy map.
Every zoom level adds four times more tiles than the previous level. Users often don't realize what they request and how this will affect the server. An area the size of Greater London has about 10 tiles on zoom level 10; on zoom level 18, that's 10 * 48 = 10 * 65.536 tiles. Software instructed to "download Greater London" might therefore easily download over half a million tiles! If you were to view Greater London on a slippy map instead, the tile server would only have to send you about 20 tiles each time you zoom in or out.
That's why OpenStreetMap itself cannot offer unlimited free tile downloads, and if you are looking for an independent tile serving solution for your web site or your smartphone app, you have come to the right place. Our tile offers are suitable for use in a high load environment:
Some of these solutions will not require any change to your mobile application, apart from a changed tile URL. Others might necessitate minor application redesign. We can even help you set up rate limiting or accounting for your tile users so that you can offer metered tile usage. Call us or e-mail us to find the tile solution that works for you!
These numbers are just general categories and we won't give our clients a hard time for overshooting a limit provided that only happens occasionally. Fees are usually due for a full year.
|Small: EUR 35.00/month||Medium: EUR 70.00/month||Large: EUR 140.00/month||XXL: from EUR 400.00/month|
|Premium Tiles||100,000 tiles/month||1,000,000 tiles/month||10,000,000 tiles/month||unlimited|
|Bulk Download||1,000,000 tiles/month||10,000,000 tiles/month||100,000,000 tiles/month||unlimited|
Premium Tiles: Choose our premium tiles if you want to use them in an interactive map. Our premium tiles have current data and are delivered without delay. If necessary, they are computed on the fly at high priority.
Bulk Download: If you want to have a tile source for offline maps then the bulk plan is just waht you need. Downloading tiles for offline use tends to generate a higher tile traffic, but at the same time these tiles do not have to be produced and delivered at the highest priority. Downloading these tiles may therefore be slower - we deliver what we have on disk, or render with low priority if required. That's why we can offer bulk tiles at a cheaper rate. Bulk tiles are not suitable for interactive maps.
XXL: If you believe that our monthly tile quotas aren't sufficient for your use case, then you can book a dedicated server. That way you have full control over how many tiles you download at which priorities. Of course we can also install your individual map style on such a server. Please inquire for details.