[OSM-dev] OSM formats optimised for client-side vector rendering?

Igor Brejc igor.brejc at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 12:24:04 GMT 2011


There are two different things here:

   - A format for efficiently transmitting & storing OSM data in the memory
   - A data model for efficient rendering.

These are not the same, they serve different purposes and usually if you
want memory efficiency, you'll loose out on the rendering speed side. In
Maperitive I keep these things separate, and the data structures for
rendering are quite different from the OSM data model. Handling
multipolygons, for example, requires transforming the OSM data model into
something more useful for rendering (i.e. polygons with holes). And there
are other kinds of relations which are too expensive to reconstruct each
time you want to update the screen map.

Another example: when Maperitive renders residential roads (or any other
kind of way, for that matter), it first constructs a graph of these roads to
be able to better place labels, shields etc. This is done only once and then
reused while the map is alive (or until the rendering stylesheet changes).

On the other hand, loosing node references would make it almost impossible
to construct such a graph. So I think you still need the base OSM model
somewhere - keeping just x,y coords is not enough (well, for Maperitive


On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 11:20 AM, Nick Whitelegg <
Nick.Whitelegg at solent.ac.uk> wrote:

> Hi,
> Much of the stuff I'm working on or have been recently involves loading OSM
> data from file or the web, and rendering it client side (e.g. WebGL OSM
> viewer and an augmented-reality app for walkers which I'm just starting work
> on now). Because of this, my server (OSM PostGIS-based) provides OSM data
> not in the standard .osm format, but in a rendering-optimised format with
> ways consisting of a series of x,y coords rather than node references, e.g.:
> http://www.free-map.org.uk/ws/trsvr.php?x=4079&y=2740&z=13
> However I'm wondering if there is any consensus on a "standard" OSM data
> format optimised for vector rendering. There seems to be the OSM Mobile
> Binary Protocol though by the looks of things, that's only used in one
> application: the Symbian app "whereami". So does everyone just use their own
> or are there any formats used by multiple apps?
> Thanks,
> Nick
> _______________________________________________
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