Protomaps is a independent project to build a new map of the world. This scale of mission demands a wide range of novel frontend and backend components, like an open source spatial database, a serverless tile archive format, and a vector map renderer. There's also a web application — the one you're looking at now — with subsystems to process background tasks, ingest metrics and manage objects on cloud storage. Finally, there's the core map engine for cartographic generalization and tiling of OpenStreetMap data, which you can access at Protomaps Downloads.
Bringing a viable product to market, in addition to publishing open source software, creates some special pressures for a one-man shop. Chief among those is to make conservative technology choices. Building on stable tech means I can spend my risk budget on unique parts of the project instead of libraries; it means my open source components can be adopted by others with minimum friction and mature independently of my own use case. Rust and WebAssembly are exciting for maps, but a bootstrapped company can't afford multi-year investments in every emerging low-level technology. In this context, some Protomaps choices raise eyebrows among web and GIS developers, so I'll document a few of them here.