OSM on Paper
OpenStreetMap offers many possibilities for creating high resolution paper maps. Unlike commercial map services such as Mapquest and Google Maps, there are only a few restrictions on what you can do with OSM images.
- 1 Basic Export
- 2 Simple web interfaces for printing OSM maps
- 3 Desktop programs, libraries and scripts
- 4 As a big image map
- 5 Usage examples
- 6 Styles suitable for black & white printing
- 7 Other links / tutorials
The main Export functions on the openstreetmap.org front page, can export arbitrary map areas within a limited range of resolution, suitable for simple situations. The PDF export (found using the "Share" icon) is suitable for printing on high resolution printers. Bitmap output formats are available, but as the resolution is increased the font size gets smaller and text readability does not improve.
Simple web interfaces for printing OSM maps
The services listed here are split into global and regional ones. An attempt has also been made to rank them by features and overall quality.
Global coverage, English interface available
|Name, Link||Terrain Data||High Resolution||Multi-page||Normal Formats||Large Format||Standard Scales||GPS Tracks||Free of cost||Free materials||Registration required||Regular OSM Updates||Output||Notes|
|Inkatlas||contours||300, 600 DPI||yes
(> 6 pages not free)
|A4, Letter||A0, A1, A2, A3 (all not free)||1:2000000 – 1:2500||yes||yes, basic service (A4, Letter only)||no||No||yes||PDF, PNG||printable B&W and colour styles, option to add GPX tracks, payment for larger maps and advanced features|
|Field Papers (web)||contours, shading||no||yes||A4, Letter||A3||no||no||yes||source code, no license specified||No||yes||UTM grid option, bar scale (no lexical scale)|
|MyOSMatic, a MapOSMatic fork (web)||contours, shading (Germany only so far)||yes||yes||A0, A1, A2, A3||no||yes||yes||source code, own style file: AGPL||No||yes||PDF, PNG, SVG||only small areas can be printed, provides more styles than original MapOSMatic plus selectable overlays|
|mapz.com||shading||400 DPI||no||yes||no||no||free for personal use||no||Yes||yes||EPS, PNG, JPEG, PDF||user-added overlays, license required for commercial use (€300+)|
|printMyMap||contours, shading||300 DPI||no||no||75 x 56 cm
29.5 x 22 inch
|1:1000000 – 1:1000||no||no||no||no||yes||paper map by post (no file)||A high-quality paper map is printed on tear- and waterproof paper and delivered by post.|
|milvusmap.eu||yes||yes||yes||A5, A4, Letter, Legal||A2, A3||1:50000 – 1:1000||no||yes||no||No||yes||only small areas can be printed, colour style only|
|Overpass turbo (web)||no||no||no||no||no||yes||MIT License||No||yes||PNG||The current map including the displayed data as a png image. By default, The exported png includes a scale and an osm attribution string.|
|BBBike.org extract service||no||yes||no||no||no||no||no||yes||no||no||yes||SVG||rectangular and freely shaped extracts possible, SVG output is partly quite coarse and using bitmap icons|
|Boundaries Map||no||yes||no||no||no||no||no||yes||no||OSM.org account||yes||SVG||only administrative boundaries (no usual "map"), created by User:wambacher|
|Lokaler Editor||Free PNG export, paid SVG||PNG , SVG and embedded.||Uses vector tiles.|
|Touch Mapper||no||Free SLT export, paid 3D printed map||no||no||3D printed map, or 3D design in SLT||Touchable map for the blind|
|Mapiful||no||no||no||no||no||Quality prints for decorative purposes||Not a "print your own map" site, but a service which sends you a print for framing.|
|Cartida||no||no||no||no||no||Quality prints for decorative purposes||Not a "print your own map" site, but a service which sends you a print for framing.|
|Printmaps.net||Hillshading, contours||300 DPI||no||A4, A5||33 x 33 cm||1:150,000,000 – 1:1500||GPX, KML, GeoJSON||for nonprofits only||no||No||yes||PSD, PNG||Admin area highlighting, route drawing, POI geocoding|
|Alvar Carto||no||yes||no||no||no||no||Quality prints for decorative purposes||Not a "print your own map" site, but a service which sends you a print for framing.|
|Mapbox Studio||yes||yes||no||no||Proprietary UI based on Mapbox GL||Yes||PNG etc.||Announcement|
|Render MyMap (web)||no||300 DPI||Max 3x3 only||A4, Letter||no||no||no||yes||source code, online use||No||Live download of OSM data||Printable webpage||Prints all OSM objects for small areas detail survey.|
|Printmaps||yes||300 PPI||no||user defined||2500 x 2500 mm||1:200.000 – 1:100||yes||yes||open source||No||yes||PNG||API with CLI client. GPX, KML, GeoJSON, CSV data import possible. Several map styles.|
- cycle.travel (web) - lets you download a really nice vector PDF after planning a cycle route on the site (Western Europe and US only, log-in needed for PDF export). No source code available. In Europe it is not including Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and anything toward east. No Scandinavian countries are included.
- Get Veloroad - generates vector and raster images for selected area and size (in mm), allows adding GPX trace. Russia and Baltic states only. Source code on github (WTFPL-licensed and uses some libraries under MIT License and BSD 2-Clause license). Dead link as of 2018-05
Desktop programs, libraries and scripts
This is a collection of tools and open source projects that can be used to produce printable maps from OSM and user data. Some technical expertise is usually required.
- MapPDF for vector PDF renderings
- Mapapel (Mapapel.com) Printable city maps based on OSM data.
- TownGuide (townguide.webhop.net) PDF Map Generator with street index and index of user selectable Points of Interest.
- Osmbook is a program that can print multiple-page map books out of OSM data with a gridded overview, a page index of all printed labels, and optional subgridded pages.
- MapBook (MapBook)
- OSM-Atlas creates a PDF street atlas suitable for printing.
- Generic Mapping Tools (gmt.soest.hawaii.edu) is a collection of tools to produce high quality scientific maps; GMT input files can be derived from OSM e. g. via PostgreSQL/PostGis and the GDAL ogr2ogr conversion utility
- Smrender is a generic rule-based renderer for printable charts mainly developed to produce sea charts.
- SplashMaps offers customers a high-quality, water resistant, customisable fabric map of anywhere in the world based on OSM data.
- Kartograph is a frame work to produce vector tiles in SVG format.
- OSMgrabber collects a given number of screenshots after moving the map by simulated mouse clicks and pastes them together to a printable PNG file.
- Nik4 is a mapnik-to-image exporting script. You can set special parameters to get quality graphics for printing or publishing.
- Mobile Atlas Creator (mobac.sourceforge.net) can be used to create png images for paper maps
- mapCreator.py a light-weight python script for downloading a set of tiles and stitching them to a single jpeg image
- GEOS a python package providing both an web UI for printing maps and programmatic access to map printing functions.
- Hikingmap a python script to render 1 or more GPX tracks on a minimum amount of pages
- gb-leisure-carto CartoCSS style and Python script for creating maps in Great Britain which use the OSGB projection and grid. Script could be adapted for other CartoCSS/Mapnik styles
- OpenPaperMaps is a tool based on the TownGuide. No web service available currently, but can be run locally.
- PDF atlas
- PDF with ogr2ogr
- Mapbox macOS SDK – The included Mapbox GL.app lets you apply any Mapbox GL–compatible style and print out a portion of the map.
- ebookmap installs ocitysmap (a tool behind MapOSMatic) in a container and creates maps optimized for eBook readers.
As a big image map
There are many ways of getting a map image which you can then print out.
Generating from existing tile sets
- Static map images - Services to generate a map image with specified centre point and dimensions
- StaticMap - Interface to pick from several styles
- MapQuest Open Static Maps () - Static map images in the mapquest style
- bigmap (, also bigmap 2) - Forms a big map arranging tile images side by side. Interface to adjust the view. Download a perl script to generate a stitched together image. This results in a very big bitmap image which allows you to print at high resolution, although font size can be a problem.
- Category:Tile stitching - Lists these and other tools which can download tiles and stitch them together to form a large (hi-res) image.
Rendering an image
See Rendering for a full list of options and details for setting up your own rendering software.
- Mapnik is the renderer used to create the default tile layer on the main OSM homepage. It can output SVG.
- Maperitive is a desktop application for interactive mapping, with many tools and functions, including exporting to bitmaps and SVG files. It works on Windows, Linux and Mac. The latest version can now generate Walking Papers-like maps. Also see this tutorial.
- Mapweaver is another perl application with customized output.
- Merkaartor is desktop OSM editor that can output SVG and bitmaps using presets and editable styles.
- osmrender.pl is a small PERL program that can be customized easily and draws simple maps.
- Osmarender renders an SVG map image which can generate a high-quality raster image.
- CartoType's sample program generally displays realtime vector maps from a local offline OSM datafile on a desktop PC according to an own rendering style, you can create easily a PNG bitmap file from current screenview.
Note that many of these renderers can be configured for creating your own tiles, and you might then follow the tile-stitching approaches listed above
Increased resolution, the ability to take a map style configuration and uniformly increase the scale of all of the features, may be important for good quality printouts. See high-resolution tiles.
Styles suitable for black & white printing
Almost all styles rely on colours to distinguish features, and as result map printed on black & white printer is typically an useless gray blob. Some styles are designed to not use colours:
- Stamen's Toner tileset, specifically toner-lines and toner-lite
- family of refill styles ( http://tangrams.github.io/refill-style/ http://tangrams.github.io/refill-style-no-labels/ http://http://tangrams.github.io/refill-style-more-labels/ )
- styles used by http://inkatlas.com (black & white styles currently can't be previewed in the browser, but are used in the finished printable documents)
- Mapbox's Mapbox Light style
- Create your own maps using OpenStreetMap - Step-by-step tutorial on use-it.be using JOSM, Osmarender, and Inkscape
- Osmarender restguide - Script to create a restaurant guide using osmarender
- Mapnik Example - how to use Mapnik on your own PC to render maps from OpenStreetMap data.
- Add a Compass Rose to your map
- To make a large map that you can print out on a normal printer see Maps for developing countries
- A tutorial of printing a big map using Maperitive, Easy Poster Printer and Microsoft ICE
- A discussion on the mailing list about printing a map.