Using OSM Map images as a background in desktop GIS

I’ve been producing some maps (using MapInfo), with the local street directory as a raster image in the background.

I’d like to replace this layer with an OSM map image. (just to raise the profile of OSM products, no other reason).

How on Earth do I do this? Is there a simple way? I’m not really up to entering copious lines of code into unfamiliar software.

Thanks in advance…


An easy way would be to get OSM maps from a WMS server. Unfortunately public WMS services for OSM maps do not exist. You can have a try with links from here With MapInfo all that you need to do is to add a new WMS layer. I suppose you do not want to set up your own WMS server.

This one may suit you:
It is an application that downloads tiles from OSM server and combines them into one big image. It can also create MapInfo .tab file for georeferencing.

There is also a perl script It is actually made for drawing GPX trails on OSm maps - the script downloads the required tiles and stitches them together to form a bigger map. ( It uses the coordinates of the GPX files to determine the area rendered.

You could make a “fake” GPX file with the coordinates of the area you want a map of and feed that to the script or something,


Some of these options appear to be mentioned on the Oziexplorer page: But this wiki page is in urgent need of a rewrite by someone who speaks english. I’d do it myself, but I dont know anything about the software. Perhaps those sections belong on the MapInfo page: (I’ve just added some of the above info there) This page could do with some more attention from an MapInfo expert too.

That’s excellent. Thanks everybody. I’ll try out the suggestions soon. I may even update the MapInfo page, as it is pretty light on.