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I wish to use Mapbox SDK for iOS and Android apps (mapbox-gl) for rendering of maps that I host myself (that conform to https://github.com/mapbox/vector-tile-spec). I went through their pricing and it didn't mention anything about hosting your own maps.

In this scenario - do you still need to comply to their pricing and you are restricted to 50000 mobile users/month if you don't pay?

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3 Answers 3

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UPDATE(after Dec 8 2020): No longer free with Mapbox-GL JS 2.0+.

2.0 release of mapbox-gl-js is now billing us for the tile request for our tile sources as a result of TOS and license change. The alternative is either to stick to v1.13.1 or switch to a maplibre-gl-js (maintained-community-fork-of-v1.13.0).

OLD ANSWER (2016):

Describe

I could successfully feed Mapbox SDK with non-mapbox (wikimedia) datasource without API key, which likely means there is no restriction for it. Also in code comments (logoView on iOS) they mention that you only need to display the Mapbox watermark if you use mapbox-hosted maps, you can safely hide it otherwise.

Attaching the Mapbox GL style json file for reference. (you need to feed the URL to this file, as styleURL when initialising the mapBox's mapView)

{
  "version": 8,
  "name": "Raster Tiles",
  "sources": {
    "yourTileLayer": {
      "type": "raster",
      "tiles": [
        "https://maps.wikimedia.org/osm-intl/{z}/{x}/{y}.png"
      ],
      "tileSize": 256
    }
  },
  "layers": [{
    "id": "yourTileLayer",
    "type": "raster",
    "source": "yourTileLayer",
    "paint": {
      "raster-fade-duration": 100
    }
  }]
}
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  • This contains an example that uses maps.wikimedia.org tile server. It would be nice to have a link for restrictions, usage related information, e.g. can one use it publicly for own projects?
    – Ciantic
    Aug 30, 2017 at 8:07
  • Wikimedia is an OpenStreetMap source and it can be in your own project, (we are using it), however you need to find its actual license info for precise legal details, this answer is concerned about Mapbox and Wikimedia source is just used as an example Aug 30, 2017 at 9:09
  • Wikimedia Maps Terms of use Dec 20, 2018 at 9:53
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I have a similar problem. I want use openmaptiles + mapbox-gl-js for free without licence key. The licenceconditionen on mapbox page is not very clear. So I asked mapbox directly.

I asked:

I want ask you, in what architecture we can use it for free. I’m not sure but I think, if we host self the tilesserver, then we can use Mapbox GL JS for free.

It’s right?

The answer from mapbox:

Yes, that is correct! If you self host your tiles, and only use Mapbox GL JS, then you do not require a license

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  • 1
    Thank you. Did you still have to use free API key to run npm install and so on? Sep 25, 2018 at 16:56
  • How do you host your own vector maps?
    – soniccool
    May 13, 2020 at 6:48
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I can't speak for Mapbox, but generally their approach is their software is free and open source, and their platform costs money to use. You can host your own data, styles etc on your own servers for free. Just remember that these things would use their platform, and hence cost money:

  • Using Mapbox Streets vector tiles
  • Using APIs such as routing or Surface.
  • Hosting your own data on Mapbox
  • Using Mapbox-created styles such as Mapbox Outdoors.

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