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I want to render a world map with mapnik and postgis, but do not want to set up my own DB, because the needed hardware and processing time for the OSM import make it nearly impossible for me. I just want to do it once or several times, but not regularly. Is there a service I can pay for, that allows me to access a PostGIS DB for a specific time window?

Any suggestions are highly appreciated. Thanks!

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Having the DB reside somewhere remotely would probably be a bad idea. If the latency is high, it could kill the performance of your rendering app. – Igor Brejc Sep 18 '12 at 11:38

Cloudmade Web Map Services is using OpenStreetMap - you can choose the tile rendering (style,background data etc)

They use a PostGIS backend for most parts of the map rendering

They have an alternative which is new.

An Example site using Cloudmade is KnapSack 2

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I'm not sure if it will fit your need, but TileDrawer may be an option. That would just require some Amazon EC2 money. I certainly have not tried it (I didn't think OSM was that hard to set up, but I respect your decision to try something else).

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I would echo that using Amazon EC2 is a cost effective way to set up a simple server running geoserver. – sgrieve Sep 18 '12 at 10:08
I think its not too hard to set up postgis with osm data, but it seems to require a huge amount of time, even on very good hardware. I think amazon aws is a good choice, i am going to figure it out, if there is no other solution. Thanks! – leak_my_brain Sep 18 '12 at 10:11

A "paid service access PostGIS" is CartoDB. For OSM tiles, there are several providers. Open Mapquest tiles, Cloudmade, OSM itself, Development Seed has some stuff, the list goes on.

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This is the only answer that actually addresses the PostGIS part. Though, to be clear - CartoDB exposes a web API to PostGIS. There aren't any services that allow a socket-style connection to a server 'in the cloud'. – tmcw Sep 18 '12 at 15:02 do either HP Cloud Service or Amazon Cloud Service – Mapperz Sep 18 '12 at 15:23

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