‘Tile Drawer’ Makes Hosting Your Own OpenStreetMap Server Dead Simple

We’ve been big fans of OpenStreetMap, the wiki-style world map that anyone can edit, for some time — it’s open source, more accurate than Google Maps in some rural or remote areas and it can be customized to your heart’s content.

Now there’s Tile Drawer, a project designed to allow anyone to quickly and easily set up their own OpenStreetMap server in the cloud with one-step configuration and zero administration.

The setup uses a small Amazon EC2 instance (the Tile Drawer site says the smallest instance, 1 CPU, 512MB RAM is sufficient for rendering a small state, region, or major metropolitan area). Once you have your EC2 instance set up you simply select the region you’re going to map, choose a style for your map and then use a bit of JSON to get your maps into EC2.

Once the EC2 instance is up and running you’ll have your very own OpenStreetMap-based map server complete with static tiles and the more familiar interactive “slippery” map.

If you’ve been contemplating making the leap to DIY mapping that we’ve been advocating for some time, Tile Drawer looks like a simple, inexpensive way to get up and running. Check out the site for more details and instructions on setting up your map server.

And just in case you were wondering, OpenStreetMap’s tiles are gorgeous:

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