"Best" rendering software

Hello together,

I´m searching for good rendering software.

Well, thats the short version. But I thik its more complicated.

First I would like to explain for what I need the rendering software. I´m planing a map in which all the places are shown where kidds can find interesting things to do. There should be sport stadiums, cinemas, bowling centers, youth centers and so on. All these places should be displayed with their own symbol, so that they could be found very fast.
This map should be brougt on differten homepages with the possibility of zooming into a more detailed view as it is possible with the world map shown on openstreetmap.org

So for the first step I need an rendering software. I´ve read something about Osmarender, Mapnik and Maperitive. As far as I can say, I think they are all suitible for my plan. But I´m not aware of the advantages and disadvantages of them. So I would be happy if I can get some suggestions which of the renderes would be the best for my plan.

I know that I have to make my own experience with the rendering software but I hope that my effort could be limited due to suggestions from you.

Thanks in advance.


This does depend on a number of things.
Firstly, what OS are you using? If using Windows, then Maperitive is probably easiest to install and use. I think you can also use Maperitive on Linux if you install Mono.
Whereas Mapnik can be rather complicated to install and setup. I think it is getting easier in Linux, as you can just install most things that you need from the package manager. And there are some useful tutorials for it. Its probably more complicated to install Mapnik on Windows.

How large a map do you want to make? I think Maperitive has to load all of the OSM data into memory before rendering. So if you want to make a map of a whole country, you will need a lot of RAM. Wheras with mapnik you load the map data into a database then render from that, so shouldn’t need as much memory.
I think Mapnik will probably be faster for making large maps.

Also, Mapnik probably makes nicer looking maps.


maybe you should have a look at



I am interested in setting up my own map renderer too. I tried to set up mapnik at Virtual Box but finally I gave it up because the introductions are not really sufficient (my opinion). It is quite easy to set up Osmarender but you should use the Perl version and not the XSLT version.



To get an overview about all available Renderers, have a look at http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Rendering or http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Category:Renderers

Tell us what comes near your aims or what features are still missing …

Hello together,

first of all thanks a lot for your replays and hints.

The size of the map is not ease to discribe because of the special organisatinal organisation of the country used in Germany. I´m planing to render a county (in Germany we call it “Landkreis” it is not 100% possible to find a suitable translation into english). The area is about 1000 sqare meters. It is much much smaler than a whole country.

I have Linux and Windows (XP) so I´m inpendent from the OS. But I would prefer Linux due to the packages avalible.

I´ll do some readings in tutorials to get more information.

1,000 square meters sound very small for any kind of administrative district, did you perhaps mean square kilometers?

Anyway, for a fairly small area and a limited number of extra features (icons or the like), you might take a look at OpenLayers which allows to display additional information on top of the base map.

The documentation at openlayers.org is not focused on using it with osm data, and that on the osm wiki is a little confusing, but there are a lot of examples and some users who are really experienced.