New-comer to OSM, looking for something specific.

Hi everyone, I am trying to achieve something specific with OSM. I’m sure that it can be done, just not sure how to do it.

I work for at Motorcycle Mojo Magazine, and we are trying to find a workable solution for our mapping needs. We typically print 3-4 maps in each issue of the magazine. In the past we have used a variety of maps, recently settling on Google’s offering. However, none of the past options have been completely what we wanted.

In the past month or so, I have come to find that Open Street Maps may be exactly what we are looking for since it is so customizable. Basically, I want a map which looks like the “NoName” render available through the main OSM interface, but that has no names at all. The reason I like this specific render is because it is only showing major roads when zoomed back and keeps the map looking clean. We can add the location names which are important for the story in Photoshop/Illustrator afterward.

We are attempting to match how “clean” the following map is:

I have download a number of programs and scripts to help understand and use the OSM data, but I just don’t think I’m understanding it well enough to get what we’re looking for. Can anyone suggest how I might get what we need out of OSM?

Thanks so much, David.

one of the software for custom rendering of OSM Data is Kosmos :

And there are commercial sites (cloudmade, which offer
this service.


There’s a number of ways to go about this.

Kosmos, which Chris mentioned above, is probably the easiest way.

The OSM noname layer is rendered using software called Mapnik but that’s not for the faint of heart. To set this up and get it to render what you want will be a lot of work.

However as Chris also mentions there are companies such as Cloudmade which can do the rendering for you.

motorcyclemojomagazine, check out this initiative!

Nicolas Marichal has the same advanced needs to get layered svg’s (or ai files) that can then be used to do "custom cartography: which is so specific to printed press maps.

Being a cartographer, I often almost hurl when people say things like “create a custom render, change the stylesheet and so on…”
Creating beautiful paper maps is a trade! A profession! No computer today has the intelligence to create the visual appealing that is often needed when a map is printed in high-res on paper.

I would suggest you look at Nicolas initiative and maybe even decide if and how much financials you have available to support the development of this initiative, it is up to you, but it will probably provide you with a more open solution then you get from a commercial company providing you with a render service.

kind regards,

Milo van der Linden

Wow, that would be amazing. That is exactly the interface we need. That would be leaps and bounds ahead of any other mapping service. For now, I’m going to test out Kosmos… I just have to find a PC since our magazine is (of course) a completely Mac affair. Thanks! I’ll report back with my results.

I have reasonably similar needs (and also work on a magazine!). I did this a while back: . But it’s probably not compatible with the latest version of the API (0.6) and may need a bit of hacking. If I get a spare minute I’ll look into it…

I tried that, but the maps were far too detailed for what we needed. Plus, for some maps my computer didn’t have anywhere near the memory the program needed (everything loaded into memory). Oh well… it ends up that Cloudmade is giving me almost exactly what we want. I can add names in Photoshop and add the route in as well. Once I get a map done, I’ll upload it for everyone to see.

Hi everyone, thanks so much for your help. Using Cloudmade ended up being the perfect way to get this done. I was able to turn off the place names and ensure that only major roads were enabled. Then I was able to export a high resolution version for use in Photoshop where I made the roads more visible, added the route and added important place-names from our magazine article. Please see the map attached (original is 300 DPI, this is scaled down to 72 DPI).

Any plans on doing an article on how to contribute to make OSM better in your magazine? :slight_smile:

Actually, that’s not a bad idea, I’ll talk to the editor about it… except I’m not sure our readership is really that into computers/mapping. Maybe something like a ‘how we did it’ article. Of course, we’ll be putting credit to OSM on the map when we publish.