Rendering boundaries and relations - Help!


I’ve recently been in contact with the management office of my nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) about putting the boundary into OSM and generally pointing out to them the benefits of OSM for their own maps.

They have given me permission to put the boundary in and provided the info to do it, but I would like to do some proofs of concept for them to show the kinds of things that can be done with OSM in general, both online and on paper.


I have some webspace available, but I don’t want to get into rendering my own tiles (I don’t think. Is it easy? I don’t run a webserver so I presume I’m limited to static html pages)

How do actually render the boundary and some route relations (that I’ll create as demos) on an embedded map? Do I use openlayers? How?

I’d like to do some paper maps too. I’ve had a play with osmarender and kosmos in the past but are these the best? I’ve never managed to render a relation with either of them. Would something else be easier? It only needs to be something simple. I’ll probably just stick with the national cycle routes

Any other suggestions about how I can wow them?


Nice. But did they give you the coordinates of the boundary? As a track? In which format?

Did they tell you how to add the boundary with JOSM or Potlatch?

We know already that you have a question.

Why would you need that?

As a jpg of the map with the boundary drawn on it.

No, why would they do that? I’m ok with actually adding it, there are Wiki pages on what tags etc to use.

I was being tongue in cheek!

Because I want to set up a simple web page with an embedded map in it that shows the boundary and some other useful “illustrative” features like the cycle routes.

Now how would you add that drawing to OSM?

Once OSM knows the boundary it will be visible on their maps within short time. You can direct anyone to that map.

You can add those cycleroutes to OSM too. After that everybody can see them on the map.

And after that it is quite easy to make a webpage (with openlayers) with that map embedded.

Your biggest problem will be to ‘convert’ the boundary on the .jpg to something in OSM. How are you going to do that?

Ok, let’s start again.

In order to add the boundary into the OSM database I was going to create a relation (in Potlatch as it happens) similar to the one used for The Cotswolds, and using the detailed map that they’ve sent me, manually add the ways that make up the boundary. The boundary follows roads and rivers as far as I can tell. The NPE background will help, and bits of it are also on the 1:25K series too, so I should be able to get this spot on. In any case, I’m sure the Management Office would help if any bits were unclear. I have to admit I thought this was going to be the easy bit!

My question now is how do I best showcase what OSM can do for them given that I’ve been singing its praises? I don’t have the skills or resources to do something like opencyclemap so I was going to do a little webpage of my own to show them the kinds of things that could be done very easily. At the very least I wanted to have an embedded slippy map with the boundary highlighted and some other things that don’t display on the Mapnik and Osmarender by default, such as a cycle route. Yes I know I can see these on opencyclemap but that’s not the point, I want to demonstrate how “easy” it would be for them to define a walk (say) and to print it off in a pamphlet, for example.

Do I do this with openlayers or is there an easier way?

I also wanted to generate some printable “customised” maps, also showing the boundary and some other things. Is my best bet Osmarender, Kosmos or something else given that I’ve not managed to render a relation with either of them yet?

Finally does anyone else have any suggestions as to other things I could do, something like “do such-and-such a thing, it’s dead easy and looks really cool”


First of all bravo for taking the initiative with AONB boundaries.

Most such boundaries already entered (e.g., Cotswolds) are approximations which need to be iteratively refined. I imagine being able to show a map to people who know the boundaries well really facilitate the process.

I can’t advise on using OpenLayers and a slippy map, but would suggest using Kosmos to get a quick concept of what is possible.

I have done something similar with some Vice Counties used for biological recording. Adding appropriate rules is very straightforward: here’s a sample:

| BusPlus || {{IconWay}}  || {{tag|public_transport|pay_scale_area}}  || Polyline 
(MinZoom=4, Color=red, DashStyle=Dash,Width=3:3;15:4;17:6) ||
| Kangaroo || {{IconWay}}  || {{tag|fare_zone|Kangaroo}}  || Polyline (MinZoom=3, 
Color=yellow,Width=3:3;15:4;17:6) ||
| County || {{IconRelation}}  || {{tag|type|boundary}} {{tag|boundary|ceremonial}}  || 
Polyline (MinZoom=6, Color=green, DashStyle=Dash,Width=6:1;15:4;17:6) ||
| VCounty1 || {{IconRelation}}  || {{tag|type|boundary}} {{tag|boundary|vice_county}}  || 
Polyline (MinZoom=6, Color=black, DashStyle=Dash,Width=6:1;15:4;17:6) ||
| Vice County|| {{IconWay}} || {{tag|border|vice_county}} || Polyline (MinZoom=6, 
Color=red, DashStyle=Dot,Width=6:1;15:4;17:6) ||
| NatureReserve|| {{IconWay}} || {{tag|leisure|nature_reserve}} || Polyline (MinZoom=12, 
Color=green, Width=12:1;15:4;17:6) ||

And an extract of a PNG image generated using these rules (and other Kosmos defaults):



Thanks SK53. Are these relations then? I couldn’t get these to render the last time I tried, but I’ll look carefully at your rules.

Yes, they’re relations, for the two boundary ({{IconRelation}} in the rule). I had trouble getting relations to work with Kosmos to start with, so it might be easier to cut & paste a rule which works.

In this example I have an OSM download (in fact the Geofabrik Nottinghamshire.OSM) and a separate OSM file created from (I think) a shapefile from the NBN data. I keep them separate, but use JOSM to put tags on the data to make it easier to render.

BTW, Kosmos does have a small tileserver, but I’ve never tried to get it working.

Thanks, I’ll try that

Greencaps, I take it all back, this is really hard! The boundary follows tracks and streams that aren’t on yet the map as well as field boundaries and the like which I just have to estimate. I have to join them all up too to get a continuous line.

Fortunately the 7th Series OS map has been scanned for this area (great job guys!) which helps no end. Even the 1:25K covers some of it as well.

Richard, if you’re reading this, can you display the 7th Series map to another layer of zoom? It would really help. I’ll log it at anyway.


[Edited for minor typo]