State of the Art Web Mapping with Open Source

Javascript & HTML5
Location: Portland 256 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.33, 15 ratings)

Learn how to make beautiful, fast, and interactive maps for web and mobile using the latest open source tools. The workshop starts with a walk through of how web mapping works – data processing and designing map tiles, to rendering systems, and Javascript frameworks. The core of the workshop will focus on hands-on learning using TileMill, MapBox’s cross platform open source design studio written in Node.js. TileMill enables you to design fast and beautiful interactive maps using your own data and share them on the web and mobile. Technical focus will be given to the performance aspects of Node.js and Mapnik and how to make the most of the CSS-like Carto styling language. Examples and walk-through demos of making several types of maps in TileMill will target both technical and non-technical users. For example, we will cover the entire workflow of how non-technical users can quickly go from a simple spreadsheet to a custom designed map and then share it from a cloud map hosting service using embeddable widgets and the MapBox API. We will also discuss the opportunities, challenges, and strategies for hosting dynamic tile serving using big datasets like OpenStreetMap. This workshop will finish with a summary of other tools to watch in the mapping space, making note of other platforms using Node.js for high performance mapping like CartoDB, key python tools like TileStache, and new Javascript/HTML5 client rendering libraries.

Photo of Dane Springmeyer

Dane Springmeyer

MapBox / Development Seed

Dane is a geographer and programmer at [Development Seed](, advancing open source technologies to solve problems in web cartography and data visualization. He is a lead developer of [Mapnik](, an architect [TileMill](, and a founding member of the [Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team](

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Picture of Dane Springmeyer
Dane Springmeyer
07/17/2012 10:45am PDT

My presentation slides can be found at:

Find more documentation on TileMill at and find support at

Picture of Dane Springmeyer
Dane Springmeyer
07/17/2012 10:32am PDT

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the feedback.

The OSCON organizers requested setup details ahead of time from organizers, and I provided them with instructions for participants to install TileMill before coming, so if you did not get this I apologize, it should have happened.

RE: ubuntu != linux. Agree, I should have recommended a VM. I will do this in the future. Also, I plan to offer source install instructions for other linux distos as well, so this will work better next time.

Geoff Clitheroe
07/17/2012 7:17am PDT

Preparation fail.

There was no prior warning to install packages – the conference wifi can’t handle this.

Linux does not equal Ununtu. If you only provide packages for Ubuntu then a heads up to get a VM installed would have helped as well.


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