Please excuse my ignorance of this and if I break any of the rules please be gentle as this is my first post here and I'm not GIS expert either. I need people to steer me in right direction so that I can get started.

I'm experienced programmer working with Python, C/C++, Java, and PHP to name few and have a task at hand to accomplish. We want to make an application that necessitates accurate mapping of the city. And so We need to establish accurate mapping. Collecting positions is not supposed to pose major problem as We can do it with mobile phone (correct me if am wrong here)

Now the problem is what is really needed to plot it as google map does? A street where one can zoom to see roads and buildings (only roads and buildings matter everything else is ignored)

Is there any tutorial or video that explains how I can achieve that? I looked at postGIS and looks interesting but am afraid of putting too much effort on wrong tools.

Sorry for long post, you can leave a comment to help me ask better.


I would start by looking at openstreetmap.org. Why re-invent the wheel, right? If that's not exactly (e.g., streets missing or moved) what you need, you can contribute to make the OSM data better. Another source related to OSM, switch2osm.org.

In addition to the above general resources, these specific links should help get you started:

  1. http://erictheise.github.io/geostack-deck/#/ - I would probably start here and then use other resources to dig deeper.

  2. https://github.com/hotosm/learnosm/wiki/English-Learning-Guides - The advanced section gets into creating tiles.

  3. gis.stackexchange.com - come back here and ask specific questions. About six months ago, I started right here learning about generating tiles / hosting.

  • Application data Must be internal. So while I have no Problem with OSM and even improving them, there is constraint – Stefano Mtangoo Apr 10 '15 at 16:31
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    @StefanoMtangoo - OSM is open data and the resulting map tiles can be hosted internal. I download the data, process it, and host it on my own hardware. Aside from downloading the data, everything else is internal. I haven't done this yet, but I believe you can update your local copy of the map data, if you can't / don't want to publish it. – DenaliHardtail Apr 10 '15 at 16:37
  • Thanks again. Am now getting starting point. what tutorial/reference do you recommend for newbie like me to understand OSM format and playing around it? PS: Update the answer accordingly so that I accept it! – Stefano Mtangoo Apr 10 '15 at 16:57
  • Thanks a lot! I will go thru those sources and read them! – Stefano Mtangoo Apr 10 '15 at 17:21

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