En résumé, c’est un outil qui permet de remplacer l’outil hébergé MapBox Studio, un peu comme le permettait TileMill à l’époque.
Mapbox GL is one of the biggest innovations the GIS world and is the first cross platform framework to display maps on the browser, mobile applications and the desktop. Maps are styled using a JSON style document described in the Mapbox GL style specification which is difficult to edit by hand. The missing piece in the puzzle is a visual style editor that is easy to use, free and open source!
Maputnik is an intuitive style editor with immediate feedback which will target both GIS professionals as well as enthusiasts to create Mapbox GL styles. Maputnik is free and open source, does not require a cloud based deployment and will run on your local machine (just like TileMill).
The main goal is to create a free alternative to the cloud based Mapbox Studio and allow businesses and individuals to create their maps without tying themselves to services of a single company but still profit from the amazing Mapbox GL ecosystem.
Background & Rationale
The Mapbox ecosystem consists out of many amazing and innovative technologies by some of the smartest people in the GIS community. And for the most part it is open source and under very business friendly licences.
There are however two obstacles if you want to create maps in the Mapbox ecosystem without tying yourself to Mapbox the company.
–It is very difficult to get started to create your own custom map if you don’t have the map data (the vector tiles) available for free as well.
–You cannot effectively style a Mapbox GL map without resorting to the cloud based Mapbox Studio
The first problem has been adressed by our OSM2VectorTiles project where we worked over the last year to create a free OpenStreetMap friendly alternative to Mapbox vector tiles.
The second problem with Mapbox Studio is that it is not open source and you have to upload your data sources to external servers and essentially are locked in the Mapbox ecosystem. By reusing existing proprietary base styles you legally tie your style for use with Mapbox services and it is difficult to use other data source like OSM2VectorTiles, Mapzen or Kartotherian or even your own custom vector tile sources.
In contrast to using a styling language like CartoCSS the JSON format is difficult to edit by hand and much more suitable for editors. So in order to be able to create independent Mapbox GL styles we should rally behind and build our own free and open source style editor for the Mapbox GL style specification.