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This page describes a historic artifact in the history of OpenStreetMap. It does not reflect the current situation, but instead documents the historical concepts, issues, or ideas.
Kosmos was a lightweight rendering platform designed for use by individuals (instead of organisations with dedicated servers).
Impact on OpenStreetMap
It was one of the first programs of its kind and it was very popular. A lot of related material can still be found in the wiki for instance.
Reason for being historic
Kosmos' development stopped in favour of Maperitive a more flexible and powerful solution.
Captured time
May 2014

Author: User:Breki
License: Proprietary (free of charge)
Platforms: Windows, macOS, and linux (via Mono)
Status: Broken
Version: 2.5.405.6 (2009-06-05)
Language: English
Website: http://downloads.igorbrejc.net/osm/kosmos/
Programming language:

deprecated, successor is Maperitive

What is Kosmos?

Kosmos is a lightweight OpenStreetMap (OSM) map rendering platform developed by Igor Brejc. It was primarily designed to be used by OSM users on their own computers to:

  • Render OSM maps interactively
  • Print OSM maps
  • Set up a local tile map server
  • Use their own Map rendering rules or share rules stored in OSM Wiki pages
  • View your maps on a Java-enabled mobile phone
  • Perform certain tasks from the command line

These are the main differences between Kosmos and Mapnik and Osmarender. Kosmos was designed to be as simple to set up as possible, without losing much of rendering capabilities.

There are some examples of output images in Category:Kosmos and people are sharing their rendering rules in Category:Kosmos rules

What Kosmos isn't

It is not a replacement for Mapnik or Osmarender. Kosmos currently does not use a database to store OSM data. Instead it opens OSM files and loads them directly into memory. That means that there is a limit of how large a map area Kosmos can work with.

Kosmos rendering rules are much simpler than those of Mapnik and Osmarender. On one hand, this enables easy creation and maintenance, but on the other hand it is not as flexible as XSLT transformations to SVG used by Osmarender, for example.

Kosmos uses Microsoft.NET GDI+ library for drawing maps, which directly provides only a subset of graphics capabilities compared to those of SVG. That means that certain graphics features are currently not available to use in Kosmos map rendering. Hopefully this will improve with time.


The primary/supported platform for Kosmos is Windows. You need to have Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1 (available here) installed on your computer in order to run Kosmos.

You were once able to download the current version of Kosmos here: http://downloads.igorbrejc.net/osm/kosmos/

Linux/Mono Support

As for the Linux/Mono support, there was some effort on my and other people's part to make Kosmos v1.x run on Linux. However there were quite a few problems with this. Also, the new Kosmos 2.0 contains some 3rd party libraries which are not very friendly to Mono. That is why I decided not to try to support Kosmos for Linux - I just don't have enough time. But since the software is free and the source code is available, if anybody wants to give it a go, they are welcome :)

Where To Go Next?