At present, in CartoType 8.4, online data is supported by using CartoType to serve bitmap tiles, which can then be drawn by any standard slippy-map system.

The next release, scheduled for summer 2023, includes more flexible support for online data on any platform. The new system is called CartoType Online

How CartoType Online works

A CartoType app opens a map, supplying a URL instead of a file name, for example,, and everything works as usual. The server supplies vector tiles and handles searches and routing requests. Mobile applications benefit by not needing to store large maps locally.

There are some advantages over serving bitmap tiles:

  • The map can be in any projection. Bitmap tiles usually require a Web Mercator projection.
  • You can use any style sheet, or change the style at run-time. Bitmap tiles are always in a fixed style.
  • When you rotate the map, labels remain horizontal. 
  • The server uses much less disk space than a typical tile server. No tile cache is required.
  • You can add data to the map at run-time, or combine the map with local data such as pushpins or annotations.

The client is an ordinary CartoType app on any platform. The server application is an executable that is run by the main server program, such as Apache, NGINX, or Windows IIS, via the FastCGI protocol. Stand-alone server systems can also be provided.

Please contact us for more information.