MapLibre 2.2.0 introduces 3D Terrain Maps

A new version of MapLibre was released just yesterday. Release 2.2.0 is a minor version in semantic-versioning speak, but it adds a major feature: 3D terrain maps, enabling developers to visualise the topography of land surfaces in interactive maps on the Web.

Mapbox introduced a similar feature to Mapbox GL 2.0.0, the first of the library’s releases after moving away from an open-source license. MapLibre is a fork of Mapbox GL that was created to preserve and continue the work under an open-source license. Thanks to the efforts of MapLibre maintainers, developers can now build interactive 3D maps for the Web using open-source technology.

I’ve played around with a small example based on an example by Oliver Wipfli, and the results look really slick. Some minor issues still exist, for example, the hill shade disappearing when you tilt the map close to a horizontal view.

MapLibre's 3D terrain in action; also demonstrating smaller issues when tilting the map close to a horizontal view.

It’s great to see the project under such active development. Mapbox has paved the way for modern web mapping with vector tiles, but it’s good to have more competition in the space — even better when the competition is open-source.