Osmarender captions on max zoom only

I have mapped various roads and POIs within a rural area of 4,000m x 4,000m but the POIs don’t appear with their captions in Osmarender unless it is zoomed in to the maximum. This means that to get an idea of the layout of the area and its POIs and the distances between them one has to constantly zoom in and zoom out and check the scale at the bottom left each time to see where one is in the grand scale of things.

I’ve been trying to interest some “lay” people, i.e. non-OSM-ers in OSM but they find this Osmarender map representation method with its constant need to zoom extraordinarily clunky and have simply given up, saying that they prefer a conventional map which shows the ways and POIs at one glance.

Question: is there any way to make Osmarender display the POIs and their captions such that they are visible at mid-range zoom levels ? (Subsidiary question: is this a question I should put directly to the author of Osmarender and, if so, how can I contact that person ?).

In a similar vein, I’ve just discovered that a house icon that I’ve been trying to get Osmarender to display is, in fact, already there on the screen but it is minute and of a colour which hardly contrasts with the map background. With a magnifying glass, and by fiddling with the screen contrast, I was able to detect it on the screen. This too, is something that needs tuning in Osmarender.

P.S. I have, of course, tried to educate myself by reading the Osmarender page at http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/index.php/Osmarender/Options#scale but it starts with phrases such as “…Most of these options can be changed in the rules file and also on the command line when doing the XSL transformation. The Rules file is the called osm-map-features-z17.xml depending on the zoom level you want to render…” which are meaningless to me. I don’t know where the Rules file is or how to change it and a “lay” user trying to use OSM for the first time wouldn’t even know how to get to this information. So I’m wondering whether there is something like a “Preferences” window which would allow a beginner to make these changes in GUI manner.

First try the Osmarender frontend, created as a GSOC 2008 project. **Work around: **In Firefox 3, Opera 8(?) and IE7 I think you can use the browser to zoom out in the highest zoom, this will keep the OSM zoom level but make the images smaller to give you a better overview. I used this alot when mapping rural areas this summer.

Osmarender stylesheets: I’ve linked the stylesheets used in Openstreetmap before, they are quite useful if you want to change the way things are rendered on different maps. Now learning how to use these are of course harder.

The “too little names on the map” is a bug imho, and I know other people have written about it on the mailing list, but it seems to have a hard time to get traction. The problem is rura vs. towns so I don’t see it being fixed anytime soon, if people doesn’t get vocal about it on the mailing list and wiki.

Thanks for this rapid reply. I’ve downloaded the Osmarender Frontend manual and am now getting to grips with it.

Watch this space, as they say.

I also found this OSM2Openlayers thing it’s very new and hence I’m not sure you can use it, but I think this will allow you to take OSM features and create icons on openlayers. You can watch the live example I’m not sure this is easier for you to understand, but using Openlayers to add data to already rendered Openstreetmap images might be easier.