OSM2VectorTiles is a project simplifying installation of free world maps powered by OpenStreetMap. It offers freely downloadable OSM vector tiles, and a set of open-source tools for use and generating of the maps.
Within minutes anybody can run on a laptop or private server his own instance of a zoomable OpenStreetMap map, with a customised design and use it in websites and mobile applications or in intranet - even behind a firewall or without internet connection.
The open-source project is the result of the bachelor thesis of Manuel Roth and Lukas Martinelli from the University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil, Switzerland supported and made possible by Klokan Technologies GmbH.
A open-source workflow for producing vector tiles from OpenStreetMap data is publicly available and documented. Everyone can adapt the workflow to create their own custom vector tiles. The workflow is scalable across multiple hosts and the produced vector tiles are compatible with Mapbox Streets. Because the vector tiles are available as download it is possible to create an offline version of OpenStreetMap for Desktop and Mobile. This will provide new possibilities for mobile developers that want to create applications that need a local state of the art map.
For cartographers this project enables the possibility to create maps that don’t depend on any third party service and system administrator can setup infrastructure without needing to know the internals of optimizing PostgreSQL and Mapnik.