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The SlippyMap JOSM plugin shows a layer of tiles as a background behind the data while working in JOSM. Originally this was with maps in mind (See the rendered OSM maps layered beneath the source data as you edit) but it can load tiles from any tile source following normal slippy map tilenames. For example you can use it with Mapnik and T@H renderings, error checking renderings such as NoNames, TIGER Edited Map, or (perhaps most usefully) aerial imagery sources, such as those used in Haiti.

Setting up Bing imagery in slippy map preferences tab

Support for the new Bing aerial imagery has been added to this plugin. To use bing simply selec

It has adjustable "fade background".


Use the plugin manager to install the plugin:

  • 'Edit' menu > 'Preferences...'
  • Plug tab on the left
  • 'Download list' (if you haven't already)
  • Scroll down and tick 'slippy map'
  • OK
  • Close JOSM and restart

Alternatively, you can download the jar file directly from [1] and put it into your plugin directory

SlippyMap is include into JOSM since release 3715.


Go back to 'Edit' menu > 'Preferences...' . In this window the plugin installs its own tab for Slippy Map settings. Select the tab on the left (map icon)

Tile sources - Select your desired tile source. This is a fixed list of options. For customizing this list see below: #Custom tile URLS

Autozoom - This tells it whether or not to automatically load new tiles at appropriate zoom levels as you zoom in and out while editing. Generally it's most useful to leave this ticked. When unticked, you can adjust tile zoom levels manually with a right-click on a particular tile.

Autoload tiles - This tells it whether or not to automatically load tiles, as you pan around while editing. Generally it's most useful to leave this ticked. When unticked, you can adjust choose to load tiles individually with a right-click on a particular spot.

Max zoom lvl - Normally you'd want to set this to the maximum available zoom level of your source tileset. If you zoom right in while editing, it will go down to this zoom level and no further. With some tile sources you may find different areas of the world have different zoom levels available. Bing is an example of this, with some areas going as high as zoom level 21.

Mix zoom lvl - Normally you'd want to set this to the minimum available zoom level of your source tileset. If you zoom right out to the whole world while editing, it could try to go right up zoom level zero (whole world on a single tile)

Custom tile URLS

Currently it is not possible to manually add new entries to the list of "tile" servers via the graphical user interface, but this can be arranged by manually editing the Advanced Preferences

Add new preferences such as:
slippymap.custom_tile_source_1.url= map tiles
slippymap.custom_tile_source_2.ext=jpg use the OpenCycleMap tiles.

You may need to restart JOSM after adding these preferences, and then the custom tiles will be available as a new selection on the drop-down (in the preferences Slippy Map tab)


  • autozoom
  • autoload tiles
  • fade background
  • set maximum zoom level
  • context menu (right click on map)
    • manually increase/decrease zoom
    • manually load all tiles in view


  • problem while setting max zoom lvl to lower than 14

Bugs send to LuVar


  • browse button to select local tiles
  • make fade background settings more intuitive
  • customizable tile sources list (possible global repository)

All requests send mail to LuVar

See also