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dchall8
965 post(s)
#07-Nov-22 23:12

I just learned about a GitHub project called Planetiler.

Planetiler (pla·nuh·tai·lr, formerly named "Flatmap") is a tool that generates Vector Tiles from geographic data sources like OpenStreetMap. Planetiler aims to be fast and memory-efficient so that you can build a map of the world in a few hours on a single machine without any external tools or database.

This seems like something Art Lembo would have his students working on. It also seems to run on multithreaded CPUs, but there's no mention of multicore GPUs. Are there people in the Manifold community who create geo tiles?

adamw


10,239 post(s)
#09-Nov-22 14:43

Not answering your question directly, but we could add support for vector tiles, if needed. We already have a lot of the infrastructure for that in web dataports that serve vector data.

dchall8
965 post(s)
#09-Nov-22 20:43

Based on the sounds of crickets since I posted the questions, I'm going to surmise that creation of geo tiles is not a big part of anyone's day. Having said that, there seems to be a community outside of Manifold where they do this all the time. The Planetiler approach is being called a major innovation in that it is 10x to 100x faster than the previous approach. If Manifold could speed that up still further, it might bring in a whole new group of customers.

Here is an image of Harvard University rendered with Planetiler and other software.

Attachments:
Harvard Tiles.jpg

adamw


10,239 post(s)
#13-Nov-22 14:57

I suppose the relative lack of interest comes from vector tiles not being a format in which anyone actually stores their data. Vector tiles are an intermediate format into which you can preprocess a big data set so that this big data set can then be rendered with an acceptable speed, typically by a web client.

With Manifold, you don't need vector tiles to render big vector data sets with an acceptable speed. We have Manifold Server that does this, and it does this via different means. Manifold Server does not currently support web clients directly, but it will in the future, and we won't need vector tiles to do that well. That said, for web clients that already support vector tiles, we might allow generating them on the server, too. In that case, vector tiles won't be something you will have to deal with (generate / move to the server / periodically update, etc) directly. If we do everything right, you will simply tell the server "btw, I would like you to generate vector tiles" via setting an option and it will just do that automatically.

dchall8
965 post(s)
#14-Nov-22 20:53

The people using Planetiler and the other vector tile approaches seem to be using free everything. Starting with Linux OS, they use open source GIS software with Open Street Map data. I doubt they would ever become Manifold customers simply because it is not free software. Still, I have seen some impressive websites by some of these people.

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