6.2. OpenStreetMap Base Maps

CartoMobile's default Base Map is a server-based OpenStreetMap which is maintained by MapBox. More information can be found on MapBox.com. Every newly created map contains the standard base map, but if you need to add it again (in the event that you delete it or create a configuration file by hand and need to add it later), use Add Open Street Map in the Map editor.

Although the most common use in CartoMobile is to use the standard OpenStreetMap-style Base Map, it is also possible to use alternate servers that provide tiles in the same fashion. Examples of this are third-party maps such as OpenCycleMap and many of the maps available from MapBox.com.

Adding a Custom OpenStreetMap Base Map

  1. Choose Change Map from the gear menu to bring up the Change Map window

  2. Tap the Edit button

    For all Local Maps, you will now see the blue chevron button (it looks like a greater-than symbol) on the right, providing the edit function for that map

  3. Locate the Map you want to edit and tap the blue chevron.

    The Map Editor will slide into view

  4. Choose Add Custom OSM Server in the Base Maps area of the Map Editor

    A new OSM Server Editor will slide in providing space for the Layer Label and the URL

  5. Type a name in the Layer Label

  6. Put the Base URL into the URL field. This contains just the portion of the URL prior to the coordinate specifications.


    As an example, if you visit OpenCycleMap.org, you will need to sign up for an API key, but as a hobbyist, you can do so for free. Once you have signed up for that API key, the full URL for the requested map, including the API key. The form should be https://tile.thunderforest.com/cycle/{z}/{x}/{y}.png?apikey=KEY, where KEY is your personalized key..

  7. Tap Done to add the Base Map to the list

    The OSM Server Editor will slide out, showing the Map Editor

  8. Tap Done to commit your changes to the Map

    The Map Editor will slide out, showing the Map list in edit mode

  9. Tap Return to return to the Map you were previously viewing, or Done to return to the Map list in map selection mode (you can always choose the same map you were using before by tapping it again from this list.

There are many different tile servers that use the same basic structure of OpenStreetMap in terms of being an hierarchy of tiles. However, the source that you are using may not use the same precise format, and in particular may put the tile address in a different order or use different separators. CartoMobile supports providing a template URL in these cases, so that you can describe more precisely the URL format. In this case, you'll need to use the full URL and replace the zoom level with {z}, and the X and Y coordinates with {x} and {y} respectively.