How to create a custom map?

Well, maybe it is not the appropriate forum to ask the question, but i don’t know where else to ask.

I need to create a topographic map. 1x1 km.
I need to set a grid on that map(a line every meter).
I need to draw a map - that is to draw approximately every tree(point on the map), every wall(line on the map) and every building(rectangle).

Is there any application which can help me accomplish my task?

I am completely lost in geographical software, having tried a bunch(JOSM, QGIS, GRASS, uDig, etc) but all of them are completely unclear, they want some databases, web server connections i cannot understand.

Is there a simple way to draw a topo map?

It would be also very good to tia the gps coordinates to one of the corners of the map to make calculating tree coordinates easier/


You can for sure do what you want with QGIS, uDig, gvSIG, Kosmo GIS, OpenJUMP and many others but a little bit learning will be needed. Once you know what to do it will be simple. Of the mentioned ones QGIS has very good manual as well as gvSIG. OpenJUMP does not have as comprehensive manual but I made a fast sketch for your use case. I will keep it available at least for a few days at
Digitizing your map will be rather similar with all GIS software, just select your favourite.

Start by installing a nightly build of OpenJUMP from
Installation means unzipping the package and then running either open_jump_directory\bin\oj_windows.bat or or oj_macosx.command depending on your OS.

Hi Lockwolf,

to find some more hints for a start, go to and search there for words or tags like “own map creating rendering style” or similar.

There are some tools that are capable of rendering maps from raw osm data, thus avoiding the need to set up a database. I have successfully used the script (requires Linux) as well as Osmarender (not sure if this was under windows as I’m frequently switching operating systems). If you try osmarender, it might be worth considering to filter the osm data you are going feed it with, leaving only the few items you want to display.

Creating a map is a very complicated thing. It’s more a tinkering than a clear process.
First, you need to get the data. With a small area, the API of OpenStreetMap could do - it is not useful for larger maps. You could try to get a digest of the data from some place, e.g. the data for Europe or Germany from, otherwise directly from
Next, you may need to cut out the required region from the big file. I use splitter for that, osmosis is also available.
For a topographic map, you’ll also need elevation data. Some are available at , others (lower quality) at
Then create the map with e.g. mkgmap.
That map can then be viewed with e.g. QLandkarte or be sent to a Garmin GPS device.
Most of the applications have some quirks, and you have to find out how to work with them…
Have a lot of fun and success!

Wow. OpenJUMP looks just like what i was looking for. Thank you very much.