Human designed output

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Ways of combining OSM map data with human-controlled layouting, to get maps where all the labels are in good places and don't overlap


  • Things which our normal tools should do, but are not yet advanced enough so it needs to be done by hand (e.g. rotated road labels alongside the road, or neatly laid-out labels that don't obscure anything else)
  • Things which are outside the scope of OSM editing tools, e.g. thematic maps, distorted maps, maps with a lot of added artwork

Possible features

  • Labels designed for a particular map scale, with rotation and offset from the road they refer to
  • Diagrams for complex junctions and one-way systems
  • Artwork (e.g. famous buildings, big shops, prominent trees)
  • Areas: parks, lakes, wide rivers, forests, large roads and road junctions (e.g. park lane, or yellow-hatched junctions)
  • Zones: town centres, industrial parks, city zones (e.g. "poets" or "prime ministers" in Bedford, or "holburn", "westminster" etc. in London)
  • 3D features: bridges, graded motorway junctions, multi-level street layouts like Holburn or the roads around Charing Cross

OpenOffice Draw

  • SXD files are compressed XML, and can be auto-generated from OSM files
  • Supports text rotation, fonts, etc. to allow people to layout road labels
  • Range of paper sizes, up to 10m across, and can be scaled for printing
  • Result can be exported as PDF

Standalone editor, or extension to existing editors

  • Will need to display text labels within the editor, and allow them to be moved/rotated etc.
  • Advantage is that the results can be stored back into the database
  • Will label positions only be valid at a certain zoom level?