Israel OSM map for Garmin devices - mountainbiking


Courtesy of the Russian-speaking Israeli bikers forum, visit for a map for your Garmin device.
The plan is to update this map on a daily basis. It is generated with style, and aimed mainly for mountainbiking purposes.

If you are interested in generating your own style of Israeli maps, OSM extracted data at for Israel is a good place to start.


  1. What does this IMG contain exactly? Just OSM data with a custom style?
  2. Last time I checked, the geofabrik extract for Israel does not include the territory east to the 1949 armistice line, which for me makes this extract pretty useless.


  1. This file should be copied to a Garmin device, the format was made by them.
  2. I’ll check this. Even if so, there are some tracks and singles within the 1949 line, so I wouldn’t say “useless”… :slight_smile:

Can you provide the script which generates this IMG, or at least explain how it is done? (for example how do you put the contours inside? or do you use mkgmap custom styles or TYP files?)
Also, I see at least two problems with the map.
a) Coastlines are missing
b) Lot of “??” and empty names of places.

  1. What I meant is that I wouldn’t use geofabrik extracts for making all-Israel ‘base’ maps, i.e. as my “primary” map. It is probably useful if you want to quickly obtain the most updated version of an area. Sorry… No offense meant.


I generate this map using mkgmap and style from
Indeed, geofabrik’s extract missing all territories “A” and ‘B’. Any idea for good frequently updated extract? Cloudmade provides one, but it is updated quite rarely.

Exact commands are:


DATE=date +%F

exec java -ea -Xmx${RAM} -jar $MKGMAP --style-file=$STYLE --max-jobs --generate-sea=polygons,extend-sea-sectors,close-gaps=6000 --reduce-point-density=5.4 --suppress-dead-end-nodes --index --transparent --adjust-turn-headings --ignore-maxspeeds --ignore-turn-restrictions --remove-short-arcs=4 --description=openmtbmap_il --location-autofill=1 --route --country-abbr=il --country-name=israel --mapname=97100000 --family-id=9710 --product-id=1 --series-name=“openmtbmap_il_${DATE}” --family-name=“mtbmap_il_${DATE}” --tdbfile --overview-mapname=mapset --area-name=“Israel_${DATE}” --draw-priority=10 -c template.args --draw-priority=20 $EXTRA --gmapsupp


As far as I know, there is no daily up-do-date OSM file for all of Israel available for download in a compressed format. I can think of two options:

  1. Download every day the OSM XML data for the Israel bounding box through the XAPI. I use the following command for that:

The size of the file is ~300 MB. From my experience, download speeds can be low.
2. Download the file israel.osm as above for the first time, and then every day download and apply the database diffs (see, using osmosis. Haven’t tried this myslef, but shouldn’t be a big problem to set up.

It will be really nice if could provide daily Israel extracts…


A 3rd option is to download the whle of Asia from here and extract using Osmosis.
I can give you an Osmosis bounding polygon file that will extract Israel (including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank…)

In any case, i would advise using Osmosis with the same bounding polygon, so the map has only what we need, and not much of Lebanon/Syria/Jordan/Egypt.

I agree.
If is willing to supply cpu time and disk space, then I’d be happy if we could use it to create other “products” from OSM.
e.g. pdf files with city maps (dimka is experienced in this :wink: )
Garmin files for road navigation (with a different mkgmap style)
Host a slippy map of Israel in Hebrew/English/Arabic/Russian/Amhari
Create single (mtb) maps, like ShvilNet
Create route map for the Israel National Trail
Create route map for the TLV-JM-Bike-Route (fully mapped, better than anything else available)


As I wrote earlier, it would be best if there was a server (with some cpu time and disk space) for the Israeli OSM community.

As for the map that was created using the style:
I have no experience using the maps provided with that style, and I guess it is geared towards mtb routing.
I’ve installed the map in MapSource, and not on a Garmin device.
Given these facts, I might not know what I’m talking about…

As dimka noted, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea are missing. Need to check the “name-tag-list” parameter (I guess it’s missing as it’s not mentioned in Vladimir Kondratiev’s code extract)
I use this, which also helps in finding where an English name is missing:

I saw some elevation contour lines outside of Israel. If you got the elevation contours for Israel in OSM format (using e.g. then it would be helpful to share that file as well, as it doesn’t change much.

The style could use some changes, like windmills in Jerusalem appear as anchor (like marinas. ports are missing)
(I’m not sure about this one, it could be that on the Garmin it looks better)

If there’s a TYP file (is there? I’m not sure…) then colors could match Israel, and the KKL/Teva trail color coding.

The naming convention is not intuitive to me, but I guess MTB-ers could get used to it.
e.g. this path has the name “M3. Flat Tire 1 Pth”
This codes the “mtb:scale” and “highway” tags into the name.
I don’t see the point in adding the highway tag into the name, it should be obvious from the way’s properties (set in the style)
I would put the mtb:scale in parenthesis after the name, or better - use a TYP file.

The above are a few items which I would love to see adressed.


For now, my plan is to switch to XAPI bbox as dimka suggested, followed by osmosis polygon extraction. Hope to keep it updated on daily basis.

I think I’d use XAPI bbox query rather then full asia extract from geofabrik - asia.osm.bz2 on geofabrik is 1Gb while bbox should give some 300Mb uncompressed (about 30Mb .bz2?).

By the way - is there a way to save network traffic doing update for already downloaded bbox through XAPI? I read about full planet, but is is not quite good for old home computer.

For osmosis polygon - thanks, i’ll do it with JOSM and, it is really easy.

Regarding name tags - thanks for finding this, will check.

It is not the best solution.
You’re clogging the XAPI server.
True it is capable of servicing a country like Israel, but that’s not what it’s meant for.
It is meant for smaller queries.

The asia extract can be deleted after Israel is extracted using Osmosis.
you only need 1 Gb, which is replaced every day.

Extracting Israel from the asia extract isn’t resource heavy.
You need “-Xmx512M” in any case… :wink:


How about downloading full Asia once, extracting Israel, and then applying everyday diffs? I hope one can apply the diffs to any OSM extract, not necessarily just the full planet… I tried to download one of those, it’s really fast and this way we would not abuse the XAPI.

In fact, I am planning to try this setup on my home computer.


Downloading the Asia extract, and running Osmosis on it doesn’t require a powerful computer.
An old home computer can do it in about 5 minutes, except the download, which is determined by the speed of the internet conection.
A fast computer takes 2 minutes from Asia to gmapsupp.img


Asia extract in pbf format (can be read by osmosis) is just 650MB. Almost certainly this will take a lot less time to D/L than through XAPI.


As you probably saw, I only mediated for Vladimir, who is the person behind this work. :slight_smile:

No offense taken :slight_smile:

I approached geofabrik with a request to include the west bank in their extract. No intention to turn this into a political debate, let’s see what will their reply be.


It is really good that we pursue all directions in parallel. I really hope geofabrik will help us with extraction.

Meanwhile, I set up XAPI → osmosis chain. Starting from now, I will upload to the same location daily israel.osm.bz2 in addition to gmapsupp.img; unless geofabrik will do useful one.

As of now, israel.osm.bz2 is 17Mb and gmapsupp.img is 34Mb.

I will experiment with downloading asia extract, and will reconfigure scripts if it will be proven better way to go.

For other stuff, I added “–name-tag-list=name:en,name,name:he,name:ar” for mkgmap. I still have no idea why sea is not generated, will check.

Regarding style, it is obtained here:
They have TYP file, and lots of other data I don’t familiar with.

I will be glad for any ideas for further improvements.

How about supplying contours in OSM format?


Please give Asia some priority. We do not want to hurt OSM by overloading the XAPI server.

Try only this value, nothing else re sea sectors:

A TYP file lets you customize how the map looks like.
Colors, and icons for POIs and lines for ways.

On the other hand, the Garmin will take longer to render the map.
I, personally, don’t use a TYP file because of that disadvantage.


I have just tried the following with success:

  1. Download Asia extract from Took approximately 10 mins (I have a broadband connection)
  2. Download and unpack the last version of osmosis which supports working with PBF files (, direct link:
  3. Download the Israel bounding polygon from
  4. Execute the following command:

The last step took 15 mins on my netbook.

Overall time is waaaaayyy less than it used to be with XAPI (could have taken 2-3 hours or more).


Yeh, I tried with asia.osm.pbf. In my case, I have the same download speed as for XAPI - my connection is 1Mb DSL.
download takes 3 hours - in my case, XAPI is faster.

dimka, if you have such a good connection - would you publish somewhere daily extraction?

For polygon for osmosis - I checked that one from cloudmade - it is far from optimal. It includes some solid pieces of Jordan. I did polygon on my own, in josm, using coast line and administrative boundaries files from cloudmade.

Changed accordingly. Will see when next generation occurs (it run at 3am from chron). Thanks for input.