Two New Mexico Maps for Desarrollando América Latina Hackathon


3 min read

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Today kicks off the Mexico City Desarrollando América Latina hackathon, which is part of a wider six country event aimed to develop new applications improving cities in Latin America. Eric is in the city to judge applications for the final prize and hang out with the Citivox’s team, who is hosting the Hackathon at their offices.

To ensure that we had some good baselayer maps — made from all open data — we created two maps of Mexico for developers to build off of in the competition.

Mexico City Street Level

The first is of street data in Mexico City made using OpenStreetMap data. Developers can display other data sets on this map to show anything from bus routes to crime reports to locations of health centers. mexico_df Edit

Provinces, cities, and towns

The second map is of the borders of provinces, cities, and towns in the country, showing different borders depending on the zoom level. This type of map works well to display data such as demographic information or education data like you can see on our education achievement maps of Peru. mexico-borders-spanish Edit

How to use these maps

To start you’ll want to create your own map layers of the data you’d like to display using the open source map design tool TileMill, which Eric will be helping people using it at the event. You can use the Mexico DF Street map or the Mexico Borders map as a base for your layers.The MapBox Hosting compositing API allows you to layer multiple tile images by joining tileset ids with commas in the url, such as the example below which combines the “mexico-borders” and “mexico_df” maps:


More details on this are on MapBox’s API reference page in the map builder documentation.

Open data and open source

Both the Mexico City street map and the Mexico border map were made using open data from OpenStreetMap downloaded from CloudMade and Natural Earth. This data was processed with ImpOSM and PostGIS, both of which are open source. The maps were then styled in TileMill with OSM-bright stylesheets, which let us start right away with a beautiful map. Colors were then muted to create a very clean, simple feel that will complement any data placed on top of the maps.

To get started making maps download TileMill and check out documentation on how to use it.

We’re excited to see what developers will build with these maps and tools at the hackathon and encourage folks to post screenshots of maps to @mapbox throughout the day. Look for Eric at the event and on twitter at @ericg to talk more about maps, or jump in the #mapbox IRC channel where @ianshward and @rub21tk will be answering questions on TileMill questions.

What we're doing.