For a newspaper, we would like to use CartoDB's editor to produce quick overview maps with small amounts of geometry and information such as tooltips etc. For this job, the CartoDB editor seems to be perfect, and suits our needs better than Mapbox' editor.

However, we would also like to have a custom styled base map for our "corporate identity", just as ZEIT Online recently launched it: https://www.mapbox.com/blog/zeit-launches-custom-maps/

Hosting our own, custom styled OSM tiles is not really an option, especially because we would like to have a highly detailed map of the whole globe.

Still a bit confused by the possibilities of both service providers, we don't know how to proceed: We want to use CartoDB so our journalists can produce quick and good looking maps, but we also want our custom styled OSM tiles - and CartoDB won't host these for us, right?

So we would have to use Mapbox where we would upload our tiles and use their tiles in CartoDB (the editor allows to specify a Mapbox tileserver)?

But then again, where do we get the OSM data from, that we would style in Tilemill?

Do we really have to download the whole planet, and how is it possible to upload such huge data back to Mapbox?

I am quite confused about the workflow that would be best used here.

closed as too broad by PolyGeo Apr 14 at 6:58

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  • What about just customising your style in Mapbox Studio, you can use Mapbox Streets vector tiles which is OpenStreetMap data. No need to upload any data, just customise your style in Mapbox Studio. – AndrewHarvey Apr 14 at 14:07

I would definitely recommend going with the flow you're thinking of now (your geometries in CartoDB, your tiles in Mapbox, point to those tiles from CartoDB).

The data problem is a big one! If you can, I would use the basic Mapbox map editor (web-based, not TileMill). There you are essentially styling Mapbox's data, so you don't have to think about that, but you have a lot less control than you would with TileMill. I haven't looked into it, but I imagine hosting tiles for the planet with Mapbox is going to be expensive.

TileMill 2 is going to change this situation. With it you style (vector) data that is hosted by Mapbox, have all the control TileMill gives you, and you will upload the style--not the tiles--to Mapbox. As far as I know, uploading your TileMill 2 styles to Mapbox is not open to the public yet.

Otherwise, you could always set up TileStache and Mapnik on your own server, but your question seems to indicate that this isn't an option.

  • The basic map editor is not sufficient as it is not possible to change the font to ours, for instance. If we go for customized maps, we want to go all the way. But then I still don't understand, I thought Mapbox costs are calculated based on map views and not on the amount of data you upload?! – wnstnsmth Jul 10 '14 at 5:13
  • It's not the amount of map data but the space your tiles take up, as specified here: mapbox.com/plans – eric brelsford Jul 10 '14 at 12:57

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