tilemaker

DIY vector tiles for indie developers, built from OpenStreetMap data

No database, no stack, no fees

Create the vector tiles on your home machine or using cloud CPU. Upload the file to your site or app. And that's it. No database to maintain; no contract to pay; no restriction on commercial use.

tilemaker is a single executable that takes OpenStreetMap data and makes it into vector tiles. It's supremely customisable, but if you just want off-the-shelf tiles in a standard style, tilemaker comes bundled with the files to do that too.

The tiles are in the industry-standard Mapbox Vector Tiles format, but you don't need a Mapbox contract. Use the open-source MapLibre GL library to render your tiles in-browser, in iOS apps or on Android.

Your tiles, your way

With tilemaker, you can pull out any facet of OpenStreetMap's rich data. Make a walking map, a city map, a National Park map, a cycling map. Use the Lua scripting language to select OSM tags and encode them into vector tile values. Or just use the pre-prepared scripts shipped with tilemaker.

  • Flexible tag processing with Lua
  • Simplify and filter by zoom level
  • Add external shapefile data
  • Compact tiles for offline use
  • Spatial queries for advanced processing

100% open source

tilemaker is permissively licensed and has no usage restrictions. It's built in C++ using the Boost.Geometry library. All the code and example config is on github.

When it comes to deploying your maps, just comply with OpenStreetMap's attribution and data licence. Add public-domain coastline data from Natural Earth to make world maps. Use mbtileserver, tileserver-php or your own simple SQLite client to serve the tiles over the web. Render them in-browser or in-app with MapLibre. tilemaker is designed to work with this fully open source ecosystem.

Why use tilemaker?

Why vector tiles?

Vector tiles are the modern mapping solution for when:

  • You want interactive maps where your app/site can react to clicked items
  • You want maps with smooth zooming, rotating and perspective
  • You want to restyle your maps on the fly
  • You want efficient maps for mobile or offline use

Why tilemaker?

tilemaker is the right choice when:

  • You want to create vector tiles yourself, without a third-party contract
  • You don't want to host/maintain a database
  • You want a flexible system capable of advanced OSM tag processing
  • You want to create ready-to-go tiles for offline use

Why not tilemaker?

But you might want to consider another solution if:

  • You need incremental daily updates (tilemaker doesn't consume OSM 'diffs')
  • You want maps for the entire planet (tilemaker can do this, but only with a lot of RAM)
  • You want terrain/hillshading (tilemaker doesn't have a ready-made solution for that)
  • You want someone else to create and host the maps for you (check out Thunderforest, Geofabrik, Stadia Maps, MapTiler)

Get started

Download an OpenStreetMap country or region extract from Geofabrik's download site. Then install and run tilemaker using the instructions in the github repository. It builds on Ubuntu, macOS and Windows.