We just launched mapbox.com/light, a preview of our new global base map MapBox Light with coverage down to street level detail in major cities around the world.

Preview of MapBox Light, our new global baselayer map

MapBox Light is an ultra clean baselayer map designed especially for data visualization. This is just an early preview to show some of the rich details possible by using OpenStreetMap and open data - we have coverage for 20 cities (ten of which are in the U.S.) across nine countries. We hope to get people excited about our global baselayer as we step up our #switch campaign. There is still a lot of work to do tweaking the design and tuning our data architecture to keep the entire map updated on a regular basis as OpenStreetMap improves, but we wanted to share the progress and talk about this in conjunction with our announcements this week at NodeSummit in San Francisco, which we will be blogging more about later this week.

Customizing your own maps

We’re working on ways to make this map customizable by color and visibility controls in your MapBox account. Down the line, we’ll release a more detailed, saturated map for more traditional uses, like navigation.

Open data and open source

The baselayer is made using open data from OpenStreetMap and Natural Earth Data for generalized features. As I mentioned last week in my post on Designing a Minimalist OpenStreetMap Baselayer for MapBox, I’m taking the opportunity to incorporate much of the base style back into the open source OSM Bright template for TileMill that is hosted on GitHub - so that anyone can make their own maps.

While today’s launch is just a preview of select cities, we’re aiming to launch full world coverage in February. You can test out integration of the map now - the entire world is available from zoom levels 0 through 10, and we have up to zoom level 18 for 20 of the world’s most populous metropolitan areas. Check it out at mapbox.com/light.