Kannada Web Maps using Tangram by Mapzen

We have all seen beautiful Kannada maps by Yogesh using Mapbox APIs. Another startup which works in the same area is Mapzen. Tangram is a flexible mapping engine by Mapzen. Tangram is designed for real-time rendering of 2D and 3D maps from vector tiles inside your browser or app.

Most importantly Tangram allows you to control Map styles, data filters, labels using a human-readable plaintext scene file (YAML). A scene file can do much more but what got me interested was that I can do data filtering and labels by just editing a text file. Tangram is designed to work with Mapzen’s free vector tile service. Vector tile service delivers OpenStreetMap base layer in GeoJSON, TopoJSON, and binary formats (Mapbox and OpenScienceMap). You can run your own instance or use the hosted service by Mapzen by registering for an API key.

I took an existing example by Mapzen and replaced the name tag 1 by name:kn2. Voilà we had maps in Kannada rendered beautifully. You can see it embedded below. For full size version go here.

Last 24 hours I have been reading through the documentation of Tangram. It offers many things. I can imagine doing many things for Indian Language Maps using Tangram. It needs a separate post. So wait for it :)

  1. Default tag for name on OSM. In India, we use name tag for the names in Latin script.
  2. We use this for Kannada.

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2 Responses

  1. Hello Thejesh,

    Great post on using Mapzen maps + localized Indian map labels!

    We made similar progress on our Bubble Wrap style and it’s fully setup for quick toggle for any language via newer Tangram globals syntax:


    You could add all of the 20 or so languages you are interested to the dropdown menu here:


    Keep up the great work!

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