Our initial need is to have a GIS tool that overlays images on a map which is not facing north. In our research we have seen that only Mapbox and OpenLayers support this.

Along with that we want other functionality - zoom, easyto , scaleto, pitch etc.

We have seen that mapbox is an answer to all problems but its pretty pricey now (499 p/month). Does that price paid for mapbox as the mapping layer or for a commercial use with mapbox.js / mapboxgl.js as well?

If mapbox.js is free to use commercially, can we use it with OpenLayers as maps layer?

We tried to use OpenLayers so far but it lacks some functionality for us, and have some issues with image georeference (for example the image must be rotated in advance to face north)

Any advice?

  • I don't think you can use mapbox with openlayers. there's mapbox plugin for leflet but it is also restricted. – Chase Choi Oct 18 '18 at 4:56

You are mixing things:

  • there are JavaScript APIs to consume raster tiles or vector tiles (to see a background map when you display points or other informations on top of it)

    • OpenLayers (not tied to any vendor)
    • Leaflet (not tied to any vendor)
    • Mapbox.js, just sugar on top of Leaflet to consume Mapbox services but 95% code = Leaflet
    • MapboxGL.js, library to consume vector tiles by default the ones from Mapbox but you can just avoid it completely
  • there are web services that these previous JavaScript APIs are able to consume. Mapbox is one of the provider among numerous

The pricing you mentioned (499$) is for consuming the background map from Mapbox services. As long as you use an alternative background map, you don't need to pay anything. If the idea is about using https://www.mapbox.com/help/georeferencing-imagery/, just use GDAL2tiles that does the same for free as long as you can host images. If images you want to use does not need to be private, you can use MapWarper https://mapwarper.net/ to georeference images then consume them from OpenLayers (every georeferenced image from this website provide a WMS layer URL)

Using Mapbox services will not solve your issues wether using Openlayers or MapboxGL.js (the first is less easy to customize than Leaflet but the second one is worst to customize than the first)

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