How do I edit a local OSM map at 1:20000 scale and size 15x15 miles?

How do I edit a local OSM map at 1:20000 scale and size 15x15 miles?

  • I am trying to create a paper map of about 4’ x 4’ of a 15x15 mile area centered on Winston-Salem, NC. I have downloaded both planet.osm and north-carolina-latest.osm, and tried to open the osm file with JOSM, Merkaator, Potlatch, Inkscape and one other editor I don’t recall. All of them process for varying lengths of time (usually several hours) and then die.
  • Once I have the desired area open in the editor I’d like to either (1) edit it by adding places of interest, etc., or exporting it to a vector format that I can import into Corel Draw.
  • I am not trying to edit the online version(s) of the files. I just want a local file so I can print tiles and assemble the map “old school” with scissors and glue.
  • I’d be happy with an interim step that further restricts the size of the OSM file, but can’t figure out how to “snip” a 15-mile square out of the OSM file.
  • I’m running in a Windows environment with 32GB of RAM and 250GB free space on my hard drive. I would load up a Unix box if there were a unix-only tool.
    Thanks in advance for any help.
1 Like

None of the tools you are using are suitable for turning raw OSM data directly in to a “exportable” map image. Not to mention that no tool is going to be able to hold all off NC in memory, not even starting on the planet.

You best guess IMHO, is to start with an extract generated by in a suitable format for the tool that you are going to use. If you want to add the POIs to the OSM data before you render it you will be size limited with the extract.

In any case possible solutions for rendering and potentially editing once you have reduced the size are

and more… see also Rendering - OpenStreetMap Wiki (note that wiki software lists are notorious for containing defunct apps).

Maperitive will work directly with OSM data, the others will need input in appropriate formats.


In addition to the Rendering page there is also the OSM on paper page. The same caveat applies.

1 Like

I have downloaded a piece of OSM here as data.osm.pbf file.
I can edit it in JOSM en save, and then look at my own map in a browser while OSM Carto is running in Docker. I can export the map in any resolution I like.

It works great. However, I can’t find the manual I used to get it all up and running. It must be somewhere in the OSM Wiki. It’s rather complicated.

Edit: I think I used this page

Thanks, SimonPoole. I guess I didn’t make clear that I’m not trying to edit all of North Carolina, just an area (admittedly large) of Winston-Salem. That said, I was able to extract an OSM file of suitable size on as you suggested, and open it in JOSM.
On the plus side, it opens without crashing. On the minus side, it’s really ugly. But at least I have a starting point, so thank you!


Thanks for this hint! I found a company called InkAtlas on that wiki, which offers exactly what I’m trying to do. They allow a free download of a map that’s 6 PDF pages in size – what is in those pages depends on the map scale. For what I want, a 1:20,000 scale PDF will need about 15 pages, which exceeds their free limit but is priced very affordably.

The InkAtlas web page allows extensive variation of scale and other options, and as long as the size does not exceed 6 pages it’s free. I’ve been able to fine tune the results and am very pleased.

I probably never would have found this without your suggestion, so this is the “answer” to my original post. Unfortunately, the forum won’t let me log in (I’m getting an invalid gateway error) or I would mark this as the solution.

Thanks again.