Custom background/Map style

Hi there,

New to OpenStreetMaps, Been having a play but can’t seem to figure out how to change the map styles and use custom backgrounds/ colour schemes etc. I have used to create a style i like but i cant figure out how to implement this into Openstreetmaps. Am i doing this correctly?

Any advice would be much appreciated


When you say “i cant figure out how to implement this into Openstreetmaps” what does the word “Openstreetmaps” mean to you in that sentence? Is it some data, a website (if so which one) or something else?

(for completeness) it’s normally spelt OpenStreetMap, without the final “s”.

Apologies im referring to -

On we use prerendered maps. You can change the map by open the layer menu on the right side of the screen. But as mentioned: These maps are prerendered so you can’t change the style. Either you pick up the challange to generate your own maps or you choose a third party provider (like opentilesmap) to get your maps with own style sheet.

Thank you for the response. So using opentilesmap how would i then get into or is that not possible? Ultimately i’m trying to create a specific map of a location and then export that out as an image. I just want it to look a certain way and be void of any text/city names etc.


It looks like some old version of default OSM style, but without labels, is still available at WMFlabs, otherwise you need to set up your own server with modified style. Look here:

Maybe that rules out that then. Is there a way of doing it with labels? I just want a super simple map style… nothing to detailed that i can export out as an image an use.


As an OSM Carto developer I would just take this style and remove text data layers from project.mml.

However the biggest problem seems to be how big area you want to host, no matter which style, because there are a lot of data to process for entire planet (I use 500 GB of SSD for testing Europe, which is about half of the OSM data), but can be much less if you want to have just one country or just some region. Next thing is how fresh data do you want to have - with smaller region maybe daily import would be enough (for example using ready datasets from here: ), if that should be more often, you need to deploy making database updates.

Look here for detailed explanation:

If you just need minor customizations, but want to get off with a good start, you probably should have a look at uMap:

If you desire to create a full custom map and be able to export it as an image format or PDF, but don’t want to handle the hassle of setting up your own tile- and webserver, you might consider importing a Geofabrik ( *.pbf extract in a PostgreSQL/PostGIS database, or download shapefiles from the same Geofabrik site if they suite your needs, and then use QGIS to load the data in a map and style it there:

The last option with QGIS, especially when combined with a PostGIS database, will give you the greatest flexibility, but won’t fit the bill of being super simple due to needing to manage a true database (PostgreSQL).

QGIS with shapefiles is relatively easy though, although getting to know a GIS (Geographic Information System) like QGIS will take time too if you’ve never used it.

However uMap only adds a layer on top of a given background map, it’s not able to remove labels of course.