Improving performance

Performance doesn't matter much for creating tiles for an extract, but when handling production loads for the entire planet, some thought needs to be given to it


Entire books have been written on tuning PostgreSQL. In general, the Tilezen database load is most similar to a Data Warehouse usecase. Look for optimization advice for large databases and ETL workloads, not OLTP ones.

General advice applicable to osm2pgsql rendering should be applicable here, including raster-based rendering. The queries are similar enough.


The following tunables are based on experience on dedicated SSD-based servers with at least 64GB of RAM, and RDS. They are framed as ALTER SYSTEM commands, but in production environments it is better to put the settings into your configuration management software.

-- For systems with <64GB of RAM, the memory values might need to be scaled down
ALTER SYSTEM SET effective_cache_size = 56GB;
ALTER SYSTEM SET shared_buffers = 16GB;

-- The workload involves big queries, but not hundreds of them
ALTER SYSTEM SET work_mem = 128MB;
-- osm2pgsql builds big indexes and vector-datasource also has some custom ones
ALTER SYSTEM SET maintenance_work_mem = 4GB;

-- There can be autovacuum_max_workers running at once, parallel to everything else
ALTER SYSTEM SET autovacuum_work_mem = 1GB;

-- SSDs are fast on random.
ALTER SYSTEM SET random_page_cost = 1.2;

-- The default settings won't run autovacuum nearly enough, leading to months between runs
ALTER SYSTEM SET autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor = 0.05;
ALTER SYSTEM SET autovacuum_analyze_scale_factor = 0.02;