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An in-depth analysis of dynamically rendered vector-based maps with WebGL using Mapbox GL JS
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Software and Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The regular way of displaying maps in a web browser is by downloading raster images from a server and lay them side by side to make up a map. If any information on the map is changed, new images has to be downloaded, it cannot be done on the client. The introduction of WebGL opens up a whole new world of delivering advanced graphics content to the end user in a web browser. Utilizing this technology for displaying maps means only the source data is sent to the web browser where the map gets rendered using the device's GPU. This adds a number of benefits such as the ability of changing map appearance on the client, add new features to the map and often less data transfer. It however sets higher expectations of the client device's hardware as it needs to render the map at a high enough frame rate to not appear slow and unresponsive. This thesis investigates a framework for client side map rendering in a web browser, Mapbox GL JS, with focus on performance. It shows how map source data can be generated as well as its corresponding style rules are constructed with performance in mind. It provides benchmarking results of different map data sets with different detail intensity and shows that a device with good GPU performance is needed for an acceptable user experience. It also shows that lowering the amount of rendered detail does not necessarily result in better performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
webgl, mapbox gl js, mapbox gl, vector maps
National Category
Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121073ISRN: LIU-IDA/LITH-EX-A--15/046--SEOAI: diva2:851452
External cooperation
IT-Bolaget Per & Per
Subject / course
Computer science
2015-06-17, Linköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-09-17 Created: 2015-09-04 Last updated: 2015-09-17Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, OskarRydkvist, Emil
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