As I am furthering my development of the map block for Mozilla’s Webmaker App, I have come into an important decision of it’s development: choosing tile provider. Running a server to deliver tiles is not an easy task and depending on how widely Webmaker App is used, it may be necessary to start a tile server on the Mozilla network. However, until then there are a few free alternatives.
I decided to use Leaflet.js to develop this map block, and thankfully it makes it extremely simple to switch between tile servers.
Open Street Maps (OSM) is a great source for map tiles and for testing I have used them up until now. However their tile server is forbidden for use in applications as per their terms. Therefore based on recommendations on their website I have turned to use MapQuest’s tile server which, to my surprise, is provided free for use in applications as long as they are properly attributed.
I have seen many suggestions on the Webmaker App issues page regarding lookup from address to coordinates and many other options. But the reality is, these features require services, and services require licenses.
At this point as an open source project the map block is limited to only locating based on longitude and latitude coordinates until an agreement is sourced out with Google who seems to be the leading force in address-to-coordinate technology.
I only have a few more things to fix for this block to work in a basic form:
– Fix strange bug of marker icon not loading (could be a node package path error)
– Allow multiple map blocks to work on the same app (if you have experience with this, please help me.)
– Fix leaflet attribution on edit page so it doesn’t overlap other content