In order to visualize the data, we eventually used Mapbox
. In general, there are two approaches to creating a map; we tried both. The first is to create a raster map. "In this case, we divide the map into squares, which we then render into pictures and store on the server. The browser loads several images and moves them when the user explores the map,"
says front-end developer Dmitriy Kabak. This approach allows you to display all the fields, without the need to filter anything. The end result is beautiful but such a map is static. Plus, raster images weigh quite a lot.
The second approach is to create a vector map. "The browser loads vector data and animates it on the client side. This is how modern Google and Yandex maps work. The data weighs less than the pictures, and allows you to change the design of any element,"
explains Dima. The Mapbox service allows creating such a map. In particular, their Mapbox GL
library is an open source tool for displaying maps on the web. Amongst other things, Mapbox provides paid data storage service. You can manually upload your data to their servers, and Mapbox will quickly distribute information, ensuring accurate map operation. This is a significant part of the work, and due to the fact that Mapbox takes on this function, our task was significantly simplified.