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2 posts tagged with "business"

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· 4 min read
Brandon Liu

In my last post, I described the downsides of the existing “pay-as-you-go” business model for maps. Organizations searching for a map solution weigh the benefits and drawbacks of build vs. buy. Buying a hosted SaaS — and letting someone else manage infrastructure for you — makes sense when DIY map infrastructure looks like this diagram:

In this post, I'll introduce Mantle, the commercial offering of the Protomaps system. It's the same backend that powers the interactive Leaflet maps on this site, like at Protomaps Downloads. It enables scalable hosting of map data with two moving parts:

· 6 min read
Brandon Liu

Protomaps is a new mapping system, and usually that implies a new map API - an HTTP service, hosted by a company somewhere Out There on the Web. Your typical interactive web map talks to an API using these conventions:

  1. The world is split into a pyramid of square tiles, with objects simplified to one of many pre-determined zoom levels.
  2. The browser fetches an image or other data tile as the user zooms and pans.
Leaflet.JS example

Front-ends like Leaflet or OpenLayers are mature libraries for consuming tiles, but leave unanswered where the tiles come from and whether or not those tiles cost money.