Introducing our 3D slippy map

Hi all,

visitors of the 3D workshop and the FOSSGIS conference already know our 3D map. Today, we would like to introduce it to a wider audience:

The map is based on OSM2World, a converter creating three-dimensional models from OpenStreetMap data. The underlying data tiles are updated once per day. A more complete overview of the rendering toolchain is avaliable in the wiki. You can also find a list of features we would like to add to the map. If you know a thing about OpenLayers and JS, we would be grateful for your help in getting them implemented quickly.

Map coverage is currently limited to the German state of Bavaria. We plan to migrate to more powerful server hardware in April, enabling us to render a larger area. If you are experimenting with 3D tagging and want to see results in the map today, contact us - we should be able to add coverage for some small regions outside Bavaria.

Tordanik and Peda

Hi all,

we made a little update and enhancement to our slippy map.

Thanks to the user Netzwolf from the german forum we’re now able to rotate the map and have non-square tiles at the same time while having correct coordinates for permalinks. Map coverage is still limited to Bavaria plus some additional small regions requested by interessted mappers.

(Renderbugs at lower zoom levels are due to the update and should be gone by tomorrow, once bavaria is rerendered completly)

Try it, have fun,

I like the rotation feature. It seems to be working well. Would it be possible to put the date of the last update on your “about” page? I added some roof tags to buildings in my area (in Bavaria) but they’re not showing yet. I’m not sure if it’s the tagging or if the rendering hasn’t happened yet.

Thank you for the feedback! The timestamp of the most recently modified object in the data is now displayed in the “When is the map updated?” section on the about page.

It turns out that, until a few minutes ago, we were still working with data from before the server maintenance on April 1st. We use the Geofabrik extracts, and currently these seem to be updated only occasionally. The latest extract now contains updates up to April 9th. Rendering of that extract is still ongoing, though - due to the large number of changes since the previous update, the rendering queue has grown very large atm.

Anyway, I’ve manually moved your area to the front of the queue, so your edits should show up now. :wink:

Nice! A few pitched roofs have appeared in the east of Munich. Several hundred to go.

Have you considered either a different colour scheme or even using Mapnik as the “ground layer”? I find the green and red a little aggressive… You seem to have it already under “base layer”, but that doesn’t have the buildings on it (at least in my area).

The colour scheme indeed seems too aggressive for many people’s tastes; I still like it better than the alternatives suggested so far. However, the look will change anyway once there is support for textures. These would e.g. replace the monotonous green with a grassy pattern.

As for disabling the rendering of ground-level features in favour of Mapnik, that isn’t quite what we are aiming for - OSM2World does not just model buildings, but also things like sidewalks and lanes on roads, and we would like to display these, too. I’m considering a building-only rendering as an overlay for standard Mapnik tiles as a future project, though, once the current rendering process runs smoothly on the planned new server.

Understood - I have seen the road markings starting to appear. one further comment which I have noticed is also a problem with OSM3D: as the buildings are all the same colour and don’t have an edge marking, they can easily merge into each other. Some kind of outlining (not too aggressive) might solve this.

The reason the green seems so strange is that I am mainly looking at urban areas but seeing a lot of bright green in OSM2World. Have you considered either (i) figuring out what kind of area it is (e.g. residential, industrial etc…) from OSM tags or (ii) finding an “average” colour for each tile by processing the aerial photos from Bing (not sure if this is possible under the API / licence though). these would create a more realistic base colour.

Wow, this looks incredible!!

The OSM cycle map includes elevation contour lines. Would it be possible to use them as the basis for drawing 3D terrain? (Or is this already working, and the places I looked at were simply too flat in real life to notice the terrain?)

OSM2World has some experimental terrain calculation capabilities. The results don’t look good yet, so this feature is not enabled for the calculation of the slippy map tiles. I’m going to work on that soon, but it will be a few months before you can expect visible results, unfortunately.

I agree with your observation. I’m currently experimenting with texturing and will see how it looks with texture patterns applied - maybe the offset in patterns will already produce noticeable edges. Drawing visible outlines is also something I could imagine, although it’s not entirely trivial to implement - currently there isn’t really a distinction between outlines and invisible edges within a roof face, for example.

The idea to use aerial imagery is an interesting one, Landsat might even suffice for this purpose and shouldn’t cause any licensing issues. I suspect that the color also wouldn’t be quite “right”, though, since things that are rendered as actual objects (rooftops, roads, parking lots, …) would also be included in the average, i.e. the average color might be different from the average color of “empty” (unmapped) areas.

Actually, that’s among the reasons why green is currently used as an universal backdrop: My assumption is that even in cities, things we usually don’t map tend to be green - small patches of gardens, roadside green, unused land and so on.

I have been testing the Java app and have left a number of feature requests / comments on the talk page in the wiki but I’m not sure if you monitor it.

I’ve already seen your comments regarding OSM2World’s GUI, sorry for not replying yet. Unfortunately there are some obstacles to implementing some of these features, I’ll explain in a bit more detail on the wiki talk page later.

Thanks for the great work.

But i have a question.
When is the map updated? According to
the map is updated yesterday, but i can´t see my changes since weeks.

The coverage of Germany ends in height of Emden and Lüneburg.

Is this a local cache problem or is the update process stopped?

Also all tile timestamps i see are from 1.1.1970.

Thanks in advanced for the news update.


Hi Rob,

The date in the about page is for the “OSM2World old server” layer. We’re still working on the new server infrastructure and are having some issues (mostly a missing spare time issue :/).

I hope that we catch up with the data next week. However, the coastlines (and thus the data in the north you’re mentioning) will probably take a bit longer as we’re missing some code for that to work properly.

The timestamp layer is dedicated to the old server’s data and thus only correct for the bavarian part of the map. The date 1.1.1970 kind of means “here’s no tile yet”.

Anyway, thanks for your questions, I hope it’ll give me the incentive to fix that within the next week :slight_smile:

Thanks for the answers.

I´m looking forward.

PS: To show what´s possible, I´ve added a picture with 3D examples to

Manhattan and Las Vegas are also full of 3D details.

I´d love to see this in

Thanks for the hint.

I’ve added Manhattan and the strip to the map. It’ll be updated once a week:
Las Vegas

RE: Manhatten, NY

See Brooklyn Urban form approximation:

An experiment, made from all free and somewhat ‘open’ data ( i.e. I do not know if it’s strictly OSM Open database, etc.), more ‘art’ than ‘science’, did just before I got involved with OSM.

USGS DEM, NASA ASTER DSM, NTDOT roads, NYC building footprints.