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What other alternatives exist? I know now:

* openlayers, but vector tiles have no web GL support there

* Procedural GL JS

* tangram

* deck.gl (from Uber)

* harp.gl (from HERE Maps)




Openlayers has some prototype webgl support that's a bit promising. I enjoyed working with it (but hate working with buggy webgl in general).

Leaflet is also great.

If you're doing any sort of front end GIS I recommend openlayers above all else including mapbox.

But I suspect 99% of users just need basic maps. Leaflet is great for that.


Openlayers has web GL support but not for vector tiles and I would like to have fast vector tiles :)

They removed this support in some previous version, I think.

Or do you have a link to a pull request or issue?

(IMO Leaflet is dead now that the creator is working since several years for Mapbox)


7+ years to be exact. It's unfair to call Leaflet dead — it's still quite actively maintained, gets regular releases and has a huge community of both users and contributors, and Mapbox have always been supportive of me spending time on it during work hours.

What someone can see as less development activity is simply a sign of a mature product that doesn't need many new features and changes to remain useful — focusing on the core basic mapping needs has always been its goal, and it continues to adhere to it.


Thanks for replying and all your amazing work :) !

What I see or meant as a sign of "dead" is that there will be no new features that Mapbox GL JS has but that are critical for future applications. Like proper or inbuilt vector tiles support.


Reading this comment makes me a bit sad because I wrote a really good incremental tile based renderer for leaflet that could easily be adapted for vector tiles.

Unfortunately that whole business unit got canned and the code is now gathering dust somewhere :/ would have loved to open source that one


> Unfortunately that whole business unit got canned and the code is now gathering dust somewhere :/ would have loved to open source that one

I'd encourage you to reach out and ask for permission to release it. In the past I've found that the sticking point was usually copyright assignment rather than the release per-se (with a side helping of worry over hidden IP violations), so get them to release a tarball under a permissive license like MIT/BSD, even if your intention is to immediately fork it.

Basically, if you can manage to do the work for them so they can just rubber stamp the release, you can probably get it done.


> Like proper or inbuilt vector tiles support

I thought one of the primary features of Leaflet was its modularity. Would built-in vector tile support be an anti-pattern?


I suspect Leaflet's current install base is many times that of any alternative - it's certainly not dead, and I'd argue its simplicity makes it ideal for most basic mapping applications.


I work on WebGL in Chrome and WebKit and am interested to hear what problems you've experienced with WebGL.


I'm probably being very unfair given I'm new to it.

I've perpetually run into memory leaks and Max gpu issues whenever I try to use WebGL stuff in Openlayers depending on which browser I use.

Something will work fine in Chrome but max out my laptop's discrete card in Firefox until my laptop thermal throttles.

If you want a concrete example of this I would be happy to put together a reproducible example for you.


That would be great. There are a practically infinite number of things we could improve, and without feedback we won't end up working on the ones that matter to people.



I’ll add cesium also has commercial support and has been doing this for a while. It’s excellent. Patrick Cozzi and crew really know their stuff, highly recommend.


+1 for CesiumJS, they have been doing 3D since ages... Also webpage mentions its Open Source from 2012 until Forever (Apache 2.0). I guess its time to switch.


Does it have vector tiles support?



It has had 3D tiles for a long time. Not Mapbox 2D vector tiles though.


The ESRI JavaScript API https://developers.arcgis.com/javascript/latest/showcase/

It does 3d, 2d, vector tiles, client side geoprocessing, and plenty of open data/service types


Will any of these work with LIDAR data under their 3D rendering?

I'm keen on industrial archaeology and it's really helpful to have 3D visualisations of sites like old quarries.

Stand-alone 3D models can be done like [1] and the detail is substantially better compared to the map 3D views [2] (pits are pits again!) but I want to embed these into a website and start overlaying other data - just like I can with Mapbox maps.

1. https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/dinorwic-snakes-ladders-and-...

2. https://felixpalmer.github.io/procedural-gl-js/, search for Llanberis


Mapbox actually put out this blog post for visualizing point clouds in 3D with GL JS + Deck.GL in May 2019 - should still be totally possible!

https://blog.mapbox.com/coloring-lidar-4522ca5a7186


You might be interested in this: https://developers.arcgis.com/javascript/latest/sample-code/...

I have seen in demos coming from a few construction projects using this.


Note that deck.gl was originally developed inside Uber, but was donated to the Urban Computing Foundation (part of the Linux Foundation) and is now under open governance.




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