Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Playing with Mapbox Vector Tiles (Part 1 - End-to-end experiment)

So, what are vector tiles?

For those that are not familiar with this approach, it provides an alternative to raster tiles where the main difference is that vector tiles provide data instead of a rendered image, although still using a similar xyz tiling structure.

This provides some benefits, such as the ability to have meta-data associated with the tile and being able to generate different presentations for the same information.

One of the problems is that there isn't an official standard for vector tiles. Regardless, with time, a particular vector tile format seems to have gained more traction than all others: the Mapbox Vector Tiles.

Mapbox has provided a consistent ecosystem around it and various providers have started to support it and, on this post, I'm going to play around with some of the existing technology around Mapbox Vector Tiles.