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Vector Tiles

Vector tiles are a way to deliver geographic data in small chunks to a web browser or other client application. Vector tiles are like raster tiles but, instead of raster images, the data conveyed is a vector representation of the features in the tile.

The Mapbox Vector Tile Specification defines a file format commonly used for serving vector data (e.g., 2.5D, including OpenStreetMap). The format uses Google Protocol Buffers as an encoding format. Protocol Buffers are a language-neutral, platform-neutral, extendible mechanism for serializing structured data. The files are served with the .mvt and .pbf name extensions and contain layers, features, and geometry data.

TatukGIS recently introduced experimental support for rasterizing vector tiles, implemented in the Developer Kernel TGIS_LayerMVT class that already handled vector tiles. The new TGIS_LayerMVTPixel class was injected into the already existing TGIS_LayerWebTiles class that is responsible for handling raster tiles.

Availability of vector tile services means a user of a DK developed application (such as the TatukGIS Editor), by applying some basic styling based on feature attributes, can achieve a similar result from vector data as with raster tiles.

Read more about the TGIS_LayerMVT class and TGIS_LayerWebTiles class in the DK documentation wiki.

Rendered representation of MVT vector map tiles. 

Posted: December 30, 2020