This year we completed a component that makes it very easy to include high quality zoomable  maps in Matlab GUI's, and use Matlab commands like "line" and "patch" to overlay vectorized data on top of these maps.

Maps are typically sourced by so called WMTS servers. As opposed to WMS servers, WMTS servers serve predefined tiles, whereas WMS servers create tiles for requested coordinates on the fly. For each zoom level a number of predefined 256x256 pixels wide tiles exist on the WMTS server. Typically 1 tile exists for zoomlevel 0, 4 for zoomlevel 1, 16 for zoomlevel 2, etcetera. To provide a map background for a Matlab axes that occupies 400x400 pixels on the screen one needs between 4 and 9 predefined 256x256 WMTS tiles.

Because tiles are predefined, they can be served with great speed and replicated in a cache for even greater speed. However this comes at the cost of extra complexity for determining the appropriate zoom level and for retrieving and displaying the right tiles at the right location.

The Modelit WMTS component automates this process so that plotting lines, patches and text objects on top of a zoomable map in a Matlab GUI becomes interchangeable with plotting these items in a "normal" axes.

See our presentation for further details.