Using an OSM Map as a basis for another map


I’m sure this has been asked before and I’m sure if I searched longer I could find it, but I have tried a few ways and found ‘zilch’ so I thought I’d just ask.

I am just starting to put information onto the existing map of where I live - and there’s a lot of work to be done, which I will do. When the base map is done I would like to use it as the basis of a town map for shopping and other information but I think there would be just too much gumpf for OSM, so can I take a copy and then use OSM and all the symbols to add to the base map?

It’s not for profit!

Whoops I also wanted to know if I could use the icons too - and how I could get them out of OSM for my map legend etc.

What sorts of things do you want to add to the map? There’s not really any limit on how much detail you can add to OSM, just so long as it actually exists “on the ground”, and is verifiable. So I wouldn’t worry much about adding gumpf.

Though it won’t necessarily be shown on the default rendering, so you might have to make your own custom maps. But its still useful to have the things in the OSM database, in case anyone else wants to use it.

As for making a copy of the map to add things to:
Yes, you can do this. If you are distributing the map, you should comply with the licence (CC-BY-SA), details here:

For the technical side, it depends on just what you want to do. You can just use the “Export” tab on the main map, to save it as a PNG / SVG / PDF etc. Or you can extract the OSM XML data, and render your own maps, using Mapnik or Kosmos etc. Or just use the standard maps, and add layers to show different things, see

For icons, I think all of the standard Mapnik icons are here:
And even more icons here:

OpenStreetMap data can be used freely under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

The icons you are talking about are probably those used by Mapnik - you would need to read the Mapnik license to understand if they are freely usable or not.

Thank you Vclaw.

What I intend to do for OSM is add the churches, fire station, pubs, eateries, post boxes, telephone boxes etc. which are really useful - then what I want to do is add all of the shops and meeting places for groups as I’m putting together a community map for residents and visitors alike. I just thought there would be too much data for any ‘normal’ use but as I intend to build it up in ‘layers’ (all post boxes, all churches and so on) I can stop when it looks about right. Does that sound okay?

Thank you for the information - it really helps and I appreciate yo getting back to me.


Yo welcome. :slight_smile:

Yes all these feature are very useful to have in a map. Furthermore, all of the POI-types you mentioned have already been mapped in OSM before and established tagging schemes exist for them.
Not all of them show up OSM’s main map, thought. In places where many of these features are already mapped the map would get cluttered with POI icons if all would be shown so only a few types are rendered. The osmarender layer of the OSM map (klick the + button on the left of the map and select it) renders more of these POI types, thought. (Proving the point just made in some places :slight_smile: )

Micha H.


I’ve made a jpeg of the map in different ways and decided that I need to not have all the info showing but use numbers on the paper copies for clarity with a legend. Is it possible to ‘remove’ information on a separate version for this type of use?