Naming a town, making a map for information use for it etc.


We’ve tried a few ways to render the map into a jpeg for printing a paper map (we want to create a town centre map to put into shops etc. for visitor use in A3 format with the map itself taking up around three-quarters of one side landscape and the rest information). What we really want is to remove the names of the shops etc. and put numbers on with another tool (unless there’s an OSM way) because the map gets too cluttered otherwise. So we need a ‘separate’ map - so any suggestions? Also we can’t get a large enough map out of OSM using export - and that’s the best format for what we want we’ve found as the others are very detailed and it isn’t the objective - it’s a readable, simple map we’re after, so any suggestions other than doing it block by block and putting it together outside of OSM.

And lastly the town doesn’t seem to have its name recored, so can we do that and if so, how?


I would try to find a solution in the OSM wiki …

and about the town name: tell us where that town is! Try to use the permalink feature from the OSM main page.

You will need to photoshop the names out or render your own maps. Rendering your own is not easy to get working, but is ok once you do and you can choose which bits you want to include and exclude. I am trying to do the same as you, but with limited success so far.

Yes, frustrating isn’t it! It’s either detail over a small area or an overview of a large one, never both, which ought to be ok on A3 as there’s plenty of space.

Have a look at as it might do what you need.

Also keep an eye on Maperitive (the successor to Kosmos). It’s still very early in its development but is very close (if not quite there) to doing what you want even now. If you wanted to add symbols on top of a Mapnik image over any area and any zoom then it can do this - I have a Mapnik image of the entire city of York at zoom 18 produced by Maperitive. But if you want to remove (i.e. not add) then you would need to render your own and it’s not quite at that level of quality yet (its road name rendering needs improving).

To name your town have a look at


I used this procedure on a Windows PC to create JPEG files for a PDA. I didn’t need a printout. It is a manual process but I think you will not create a new map very often.

  1. Download the area in JOSM.
  2. Change the area as you want. JOSM is very powerful, also for global changes.
    2.1 You can have several layers if appropriate. E.g. deletions in the downloaded and additions in another layer.
  3. Store the layers separately and only local on your PC as files, e.g. Cityx.osm. Don’t upload them to the OSM database.
  4. Use Kosmos to render the map on your PC. I don’t know Maperitive.
    4.1 There can be several layers.
    4.2 You can change the rendering rules of Kosmos easily for objects supported, but you can’t add new rules for objects which are not supported.
  5. Export the map as required. A3 is not really that big.
  6. Add your legend with a graphic editor.
  7. Print it.

Feel free to ask any questions if you need further details.


N.B. Please don"t start a new thread on the same subject.
In the other one you got already infos to the licence stuff.

you can also export OSM data to Adobe illustrator: … follow the first line.

Does this help?

Sorry Willi - that was our thread too but because of the name request and the direction the other thread went we thought we’d ask slightly differently and we did get different answers!

Thanks all - a lot to take in and try - starting with the name of the town. is another tool you could find useful. It will render OSM data to SVG and you can choose what features to display. SVG can be opened in Illustrator or Inkscape and rendered into PNG or PDF for printing.