I am interested in creating a web map application, that will display a map of my country and various files (.tif, shp) on top of it as layers and I decided to build it on top of Leaflet.

So when I started, I used a standard map from OpenStreetMaps, using the following code:

var map = L.map('map').setView([50, 9], 10);
L.tileLayer('http://{s}.tile.osm.org/{z}/{x}/{y}.png', {
  attribution: '&copy; <a href="http://osm.org/copyright">OpenStreetMap</a> contributors',
}).addTo( map );

However, my supervisor said that the map is "too detailed", so we are looking for an alternative base map that is less detailed and may be of more help.

So is there an alternative source of free maps, like OpenStreetMaps that I can use?

  • 9
    Have a look at this: leaflet-extras.github.io/leaflet-providers/preview
    – ghybs
    Mar 9, 2016 at 19:10
  • Thank you. I guess all of the above are free to use and stable?
    – G90DD
    Mar 9, 2016 at 19:23
  • 2
    Not necessarily. Look for terms and conditions for each service. If you really want free and no registration, avoid MapQuest, mapbox, ESRI, HERE. Even the remaining ones may impose usage restrictions (typically, no tiles scrapping). On the other hand, commercial services may offer free plans that meet your needs.
    – ghybs
    Mar 9, 2016 at 19:32
  • @ghybs Can you post your comment as an answer so the question can be marked as solved by the OP? Jan 16, 2018 at 22:41
  • @Christallkeks Thank you for your message! While I doubt OP will come back here just to accept the answer, it seems that many people indeed found my comment useful, so turning it into a proper answer is probably suitable, as you imply. Cheers!
    – ghybs
    Jan 17, 2018 at 11:34

1 Answer 1


There are plenty of free and/or commercial alternative base maps, aka "Tile Sources / Servers".

A very nice live demo is available here, which lists many of the "free" ones:


Contains configurations for various free tile providers — OSM, OpenCycleMap, Stamen, Esri, etc.

However, "free" does not necessarily mean that you can do whatever you want with them. You should look for their Terms and Conditions to get the exact extent of what you can do. Typically, services will require some usage restriction.

Most of commercial services also offer free plans (e.g. mapbox, MapQuest, etc.) that may still meet your needs.

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