Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: New map API: Simple Tiles... any use to anyone ?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,807
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default New map API: Simple Tiles... any use to anyone ?

    Showing up on the tech news today...

    http://www.propublica.org/nerds/item...apping-library

    a C based API for getting public vector data rendered out using a cloud based parallel server to provide rendered tiles of a regional area - presumably to load into google maps type thing. Prob use this in my app as well. Sounds good for people wanting real world maps with custom features. From my quick read it looks free but I am not sure.

  2. #2
    Guild Expert Gracious Donor Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
    Posts
    1,146
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Showing up on the tech news today...

    http://www.propublica.org/nerds/item...apping-library

    a C based API for getting public vector data rendered out using a cloud based parallel server to provide rendered tiles of a regional area - presumably to load into google maps type thing. Prob use this in my app as well. Sounds good for people wanting real world maps with custom features. From my quick read it looks free but I am not sure.
    It's under the MIT license. I'm not seeing anything about a cloud computing service though, it just looks like a library for implementing a WMS/TMS on top of OGR and Cairo. If you want to use it, you need to write a service using it and then host it yourself. It's sort of interesting, but there are already loads of map servers available, they even mention Mapnik and MapServer in the article. For those who need the specific capabilities of this one (Mostly that seems to be that it's very simple and has multiple language bindings), that's great, but otherwise, it's not particularly new or interesting.

  3. #3
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,807
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Oh ok, I thought they had some kind of set of PCs rendering out the vector data and would serve up the image. As I read it they were saying that there exists these huge databases of vector data and they had some kind of capability of interpreting it to tiles and you grab the tiles. So you have to host that capability as well then. Re-reading the article with your additional explanation does give me a different impression now. So I guess this is more of a C or Ruby based simple API with limited scope for what would already exist in a more extensive fashion, if you could be bothered to set it all up, but either way, your server will do all of the image rendering and generate the tile. Possibly still useful but it sounds like you will still need to run a server and still need to download the multi gigs of vector data to make it work.

    Thanks Hai b.t.w...

  4. #4
    Guild Expert Gracious Donor Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
    Posts
    1,146
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Oh ok, I thought they had some kind of set of PCs rendering out the vector data and would serve up the image. As I read it they were saying that there exists these huge databases of vector data and they had some kind of capability of interpreting it to tiles and you grab the tiles. So you have to host that capability as well then. Re-reading the article with your additional explanation does give me a different impression now. So I guess this is more of a C or Ruby based simple API with limited scope for what would already exist in a more extensive fashion, if you could be bothered to set it all up, but either way, your server will do all of the image rendering and generate the tile. Possibly still useful but it sounds like you will still need to run a server and still need to download the multi gigs of vector data to make it work.

    Thanks Hai b.t.w...
    Oh you don't need a massive data set. The point is that it is capable of dealing with one if you need it to. If you have a 10 GiB spatial table in Postgres, it can render that, but if you have a 10 KiB Shapefile, it can render that too. But then so can GeoServer. The difference is that GeoServer is a complete server with support for WFS and WCS as well as WMS and TMS, written in Java, and supporting the SDL style language, where Simple Tiles is a C library with multiple language bindings that only supports tiled services and has no complex rule based style system. It's probably a fair bit faster and less memory intensive in its particular role than GeoServer.

    Now, if you want a cloud based map tile rendering service, there are some. CloudMade is a prominent one with ties to OpenStreetMap.

  5. #5
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,807
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    We had someone who was interested in setting up GeoServer for the MeDem project I am part of. We were interested in using that but the chap didn't stick around. Were were going to use a set of image tiles to import as the base layer and I think he said it could generate all the other Z tiles.

    We have become interested in 3D mapping from a server via this Outerra which is pretty cool too. It renders the map locally but fetches 3D data tiles from cloud based servers.

    So I guess if I want to style vector data then I could write some style guide (presumably in something like XML) and then a full fat map server would render the vector data out with that style. Interesting. I have used OpenStreetMap from the web interface but as yet not via any API.

    I'm working on providing some kind of web server for maps - esp fantasy maps at the mo. But its all 2D image based not shape file or vector.

  6. #6
    Community Leader Korash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    1,311

    Default

    I would be interested in either of your opinions about this type of thing. Not my work (trust me = WAY beyond my abilities and technical knowledge) but I am interested in your takes, from both a programming and GIS point of view.

    I tried emailing the author, but I fear that I might have ended up in his file 13. I was asking him about what sort of setting/user interface options he was working on and what sort of work flow the program went through.
    Art Critic = Someone with the Eye of an Artist, Words of a Bard, and the Talent of a Rock.

    Please take my critiques as someone who Wishes he had the Talent

  7. #7
    Guild Expert Gracious Donor Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
    Posts
    1,146
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Korash View Post
    I would be interested in either of your opinions about this type of thing. Not my work (trust me = WAY beyond my abilities and technical knowledge) but I am interested in your takes, from both a programming and GIS point of view.

    I tried emailing the author, but I fear that I might have ended up in his file 13. I was asking him about what sort of setting/user interface options he was working on and what sort of work flow the program went through.
    That is interesting, though it is skewing a bit off of the original topic of the thread. I've actually had some similar ideas but rather than the pseudo-natural symbology (which, despite its popularity with the guild, is not something I'm keen on) I've been interested in mimicking pen and ink, hand drawn symbologies like those of Erwin Raisz. I'm nowhere near pulling off anything even remotely like that, and haven't actually done any work on it in a while, but you can see a thread about it here: http://www.cartographersguild.com/sh...ling-using-JTS

  8. #8
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    4,807
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    If the results were driven from 3D landscapes then its old hat. Its very similar to my GeoTerSys texturing engine. It shades stuff based on temperature, sunlight, snow fall, vegetation, and loads of params thats derived from the 3D model and a climate simulation.

    But I think this is being done from the 2D vector map which is kinda new. Whilst I like the output and prefer it to the normal vector maps like those they have posted, if you are going to make it look real and it is a map then you have to be careful that if its a real place then you are now inferring a lot of visual elements from an algorithm instead of from what is really there. For example, the text quotes that it fades up tree growth but the tree line might be quite sharp in the real world. I can imagine a zillion other similar assumptions that would be wrong. For a fantasy map tho, well, now your talking ! If you only had to draw the vector shapes and it would shade it all in realistic style then it would be great.

  9. #9
    Guild Expert Gracious Donor Hai-Etlik's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    48° 28′ N 123° 8′ W
    Posts
    1,146
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    If the results were driven from 3D landscapes then its old hat. Its very similar to my GeoTerSys texturing engine. It shades stuff based on temperature, sunlight, snow fall, vegetation, and loads of params thats derived from the 3D model and a climate simulation.

    But I think this is being done from the 2D vector map which is kinda new. Whilst I like the output and prefer it to the normal vector maps like those they have posted, if you are going to make it look real and it is a map then you have to be careful that if its a real place then you are now inferring a lot of visual elements from an algorithm instead of from what is really there. For example, the text quotes that it fades up tree growth but the tree line might be quite sharp in the real world. I can imagine a zillion other similar assumptions that would be wrong. For a fantasy map tho, well, now your talking ! If you only had to draw the vector shapes and it would shade it all in realistic style then it would be great.
    I don't think he's actually trying to create a photorealistic representation, it's just about using a more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing symbology. In the same way that we generally represent forested areas a green, he's taking it a step further and using a vegetation texture. Hence pseudo-natural. These images aren't intended to look like air photos, and in fact don't look much like them. That's one of the things that bothers me about a lot of the "realistic" maps done on the guild. They are really much more what that page is talking about, intuitive and aesthetic symbologies that evoke the feature being represented, but aren't actually all that realistic, so "pseudo-natural" is a better name.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •