New to this, but played with Mapbox.

My interest lies in creating really good looking slippy maps, I am a web developer so I am interested in both the creation and interacting with the data using a API or similar.

So far I have created some lovely detailed building maps in Mapbox and been able to interact with the later data using MapBox GL - all good but I will soon surpass the limit and need to pay $499 a month my institution wont front that kind of money!

As Mapbox is open source and by definition available is it possible to re-create the project using Mapbox Studio open source and host on my own server?

I see the GitHub repository here https://github.com/spatialdev/mapbox-studio, but many of the links are 404 not found and it doesn't seem well supported - last commit was in 2015!!


4 Answers 4


Yes, you absolutely can create your own solution based on MapBox-created open-source technologies. You can for example host your own tiles and consume them using their web front-end (mapbox-gl.js) without using their service. I have a working solution and am exploring using this for our company in a serious way. You cannot however use Studio (you used to be able to use the Classic version, as other people mention) to style which makes things challenging.

So it does take work and effort, and it is much easier to just use their tools. They are vocal advocates of open-source at many levels of their org and I don't see signs of them changing, but this is an example of the kind of thing you have to watch when using open tech.

Generating the tiles is possible through some of their many modules, or these days anything that can produce a pbf/mvt tiles which is now widely supported. Consuming the tiles with mapbox-gl.js is not free of challenges but is also straighforward once you start using them.

The absence of that free Studio product for styling is the biggest barrier to creating a solution quickly and leveraging the tech the way they do, but you can learn to style based on their guides. Again, there is a lot of effort and creativity involved but do-able for dedicated developers.


is it possible to re-create the project using Mapbox Studio open source and host on my own server?

The syntax of the map stylesheet used in Mapbox Studio is mapbox-gl-style-spec which cannot be backported to the CartoCSS that is used in the open source and now discontinued Mapbox Studio Classic. Even if you did, the tiles would still be hosted by Mapbox that you would need to pay for.

If you are looking for a self hosted solution, you might want to look at the kartotherian project which is an open source map tile generation stack developed by the Wikimedia Foundation which reuses a lot of specifications originally open sourced by Mapbox.


Take a look on NextGIS cloud. The NextGIS Web on own server also available. This is fully open source solution.

Documentation available.

To create web style you can use NextGIS QGIS with NextGIS connect plugin, or edit map style in browser. Two renderer supported in a cloud (MapServer and QGIS).

enter image description here


There are two open source forks of Mapbox GL libraries:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.