How to render a world outline map (with simplified lines) using OSM or other maps?

How to get a world map, which is generalised to having only outlines of continents and bigger islands (like greenland, iceland, great britain); for example north america covered by only one outline.

Something like this - Free Download - Printable Blank World Map PNG Image | Transparent PNG Free Download on SeekPNG.

It needs to be black and white, with contours of continents black. In the end, I want it to SVG or other vector image format. I want to simplify contours a little bit, and the line width to be constant.

How can I get this kind of map?


What sort of map do you want?

  • Just one picture? If so, in what format? Your link suggests .png, but I’m not sure if that is a hard requirement or not.
  • Something printed out on paper?
  • a map that you can zoom in and out of (like at
  • could it be on a server, or does it actually need to be installed on some device in an app, and if so what sort?
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I want it to be printed (burnt) on wood with laser, and it needs to be SVG with simple lines as edges, and simplified a lot to be visible and not blurred out. SVG, because it’s a lot faster with laser - it moves right along the lines with svg (like plotter), but starts printing row-by-row in case of png or jpg (a lot slower and less quality). In ideal case, there are no very small objects.

Maps I could directly download contained a flaw that lines are shapes, not vector lines, and thus it uses several lines to print one line - this appears as blur. My link was PNG only because I meant it as map picture, not the end-format.


For that purpose may be better than OSM data.

If no, then is likely to be useful.

Overpass turbo - OpenStreetMap Wiki is likely to be useful for detail and smaller scale

I used all of them to create laser-cut and laser-engraved maps, some in world scale, some in city scale or even smaller. Good luck with your project!

In case of OSM data then remember about attributing data source on finished product (in way visible to users). Note that NE is not requiring such attribution. (not always OSM is the best data source, and even default OSM map style is using NE for low zoom levels)


Mateusz_Konieczny thank you, naturalearthdata is useful. Conversion of world outline to SVG is up to my criteria.

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I’m not clear what you mean by this, but QGIS can turn most vector geographic formats into SVG. It also has the advantage of supporting a number of projections which may help get a layout you like the look of.

InsertUser how to do this? In QGIS, I only saw export to image, which only gives selection of raster formats. I used some online converter - how to do this in QGIS with shapefiles, shp to svg, for example?

InsertUser how to do this? In QGIS, I only saw export to image, which only gives selection of raster formats.

QGIS has an svg export option in export to image

I used GitHub - mbloch/mapshaper: Tools for editing Shapefile, GeoJSON, TopoJSON and CSV files for that (has also browser version )

Thanks Mateusz, I’ll give it a look.

I have not worked with a laser engraver, but I think you will probably want to create a print layout where you can set the correct “page” size and resolution. Once you have added a view of the map that you like you will be able to export to svg straight from a export to svg button on the toolbar.

More information on print layouts is available in this tutorial.