This article covers a free library of OpenStreetMap tiles that can be used to display map data with unique layouts. Instead of showing a boring address on a webpage, you can embed an interactive map to highlight your location. This not only looks good but also provides a better idea of the location.
There are various map services that you can use for that but if you want an absolutely free service then OpenStreetMap is the best option to go with. It’s open-source so you can find Other free add-ons for the map with visual and data options.
Stamen Maps is a reputed name in cartography that offers a library of free to use unique map layers that you can apply on OpenStreetMap. Think of it as a theme for OpenStreetMap with unique visuals and interesting data. The library contains a handful of map layers that you can just copy and embed to your map. The collection is absolutely free to use but you have to add an attribution to the developers. With h that said, let’s check it out in detail.
Free Library of OpenStreetMap Tiles: Stamen
Stamen Maps’ library of OpenStreetMap layers packs a small but diverse collection of themes. The library is available on the Stamen website where you can browse the collection and get the embed code to use it. The website shows you an interactive demo of three layers on the landing page follows by the list of layers. You can select multiple layers one by one to visualize them together.
Here is the list of OpenStreetMap layers that you can use:
This one has a monochromatic appearance with just black and white colors. The land is repented with white color with roads, rivers, and oceans in white.
This is a regular terrain layer that features natural colors and hill shading. This map layer is made in collaboration with Nelson Minar and Gem Spear and it is available in four flavors: Terrain, Lines, Labels, and Background.
This layer has a pretty unique layout as it uses watercolor shades for the map. It looks like a raster effect on the map which gives the map a paper-like texture.
This map layer has a fire theme that represents the rooftops. It’s like a heat-map with fiery animations.
Yes, there is also a map of Mars that shows the surface data of the planet. This map is based on the MOLA dataset that shows a 3D contour map of the surface of Mars.
Trees, Cabs & Crime Map
This one is a pretty unique map that plots the trees, cabs, and crime count on the map. It uses a color code to represent those three things on the map.
If you already have OpenStreetMap on your website then implementing these layers on top is pretty simple. You can just copy the embed code of a particular layer and add that to the OpenStreetMap section of the webpage. If you don’t have OpenStreetMap implemented then you can find the guides for that on the OpenStreetMap website.
The unique library of Stamen maps can add an intrusive interface to OpenStreetMap that looks very different from the regular map interface. It can help you get the attention of the visitors and build more engagement on your website.