[OSM-dev] Creating Easy Map Embedding

Milo van der Linden mlinden at zeelandnet.nl
Mon Oct 22 16:20:25 BST 2007

Woo, this is an interesting discussion!

I hope I am not being rude by giving my personal opinion. Please hit me 
if I am stepping on your toes. I do not mean to offend anyone, just keep 
an open mind and share my toughts.

Christopher Schmidt schreef:
> On Mon, Oct 22, 2007 at 03:01:46PM +0100, David Earl wrote:
>> Why don't we create a distributed tile server, so the load can be spread 
>> around? Then we do have "infinite resources like Google".
> Building a distributed tile server is a lot of work, and not easy. (I
> say this having built the innards of a distributed tile cache for
> TileCache.)
Would distributed WMS servers be an option? I am allready experimenting 
with setting up mapserver. What I am trying to do is:
- Get a stable subset of available attributes
- create seperat datasets for features as roads, parcs, forests, 
industrial areas and so on.
- script all this to be generated from the planet.osm
- script the diffs to be processed daily
- I am still testing to see if shapefiles are prefered oposed to 
postGIS, mapservers performance is way better with shapefiles.
- The roi on my effort will be that I can sell mapserver hosting with a 
free OSM set as its bases to customers that want me to host their 
private mapdata
- In return, the OSM wms will be freely available to the world
- My estimate is that I will be able to set up 4 mapserver dedicated 
servers like this in the first year, more when demand increases.
> How many people have the ability to set up and maintain an up to date
> copy of the mapnik database? How many people have the server resources to
> deploy mapnik, PostGIS, etc. as well as maintaining an up to date copy
> of the planet that doesn't fall behind? I think that if you browse
> informationfreeway, which uses distributed caches of tiles, you'll see
> the benefit this has, but also the drawback, which is that you're
> depending on your tile caches to always be available -- when they
> aren't, the whole map suffers.
As you see, there are possibilities to generate some income and return 
on investment . I hope that with my plans I will be able to contribute 
to the community by slowly getting more and more servers available. 
Having advanced servers available for OSM related tasks is a matter of 
taking small steps forward.
> If the answer to 'how many people can bring the same level of resources
> to bear on the problem as tile.openstreetmap.org' is 'few', then
> distributed tile servers don't get you much, because all the rendering
> still has to be done in one place, and (once mod_tile is deployed)
> rendering is a lot more work than actually serving tiles. 
I am hoping that using mapserver will make the rendering process 
obsolete for certain applications. I am not able to say if mapserver 
will be able to generate the same high quality of maps as the rendering 
process, but when it fits the purpose, it might be a good consideration.
> In other words: once the mod_tile solution goes out, and a 10x increase
> in performance is available, distributed tiles don't actually improve
> the situation much/any.
> A distributed tile cache is a difficult problem to solve, and it's not
> the most important part of the problem here: again, mod_tile will
> probably solve the short term performance needs of serving mapnik tiles
> from the OpenStreetMap servers. (I could be wrong on this, but this is
> the impression I've gotten.) If there is a desire to work on a
> highly robust distributed tile serving system, that's great, but it
> should be after mod_tile is completed and replaces the current mapnik
> tile serving setup.
I think that this desire is there. It is only a matter of time. Business 
value is (what I believe) the best way to get money (which can be 
transformed into server capacity) available for the OSM initiatives. 
Currently all GIS systems support WMS and WFS, none of them support tile 
> The more important question -- at least to me -- is "What resources does
> OSM want to be providing to users of OSM?" Is 'tiles' one of them, or is
> the OSM tile server only a resource designed to be used for OSM.org, and
> everything else belongs off site? I don't know how others feel about
> this question, and I'd be interested in hearing what others think.
In my opinion, the web 2.0 functionallity (adding and changing content) 
has to be the primary focus for OSM, it is the one that has the highest 
competetive value. Making the data available to other parties that are 
then able to generate business from it will eventually let OSM benefit. 
I business model where a company would donate 20 cents on every euro 
made thanks to serving OSM data would be of great value.
> Regards,



Milo van der Linden
skype: milovanderlinden <skype:milovanderlinden?add>
mlinden at zeelandnet.nl <mailto:mlinden at zeelandnet.nl>
milovanderlinden at gmail.com <mailto:milovanderlinden at gmail.com>
milo at 3dsite.nl <mailto:milo at 3dsite.nl>


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