OSM on Paper

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Available languages — OSM on Paper
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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.

Basic Export

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 Large Format Standard Scales GPS Tracks Free of cost Free materials Registration required Regular OSM Updates Output Notes
Inkatlas contours 300 DPI yes A0, A1, A2, A3 1:2000000 - 1:2500 yes basic service is free 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 A3 no no yes source code, no license specified No
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PDF UTM grid option, nice scale ruler
MapOSMatic (web) no yes yes A0,A1,A2,A3 no no yes source code, own style file: AGPL No yes PDF, PNG, SVG only small areas can be printed, OSM stylesheet outdated
MyOSMatic, a MapOSMatic fork (web) contours, shading (Germany only so far) yes yes A0,A1,A2,A3 no no 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
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Yes yes EPS, PNG, JPEG, PDF user-added overlays, license required for commercial use (€300+)
milvusmap.eu yes yes yes A2, A3 1:50000 - 1:1000 no yes
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No yes PDF only small areas can be printed, colour style only
Overpass turbo (web) no
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yes
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No
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PNG
BBBike.org extract service
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yes SVG, PNG
Walking-Papers (web)
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yes GPL2+ No
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precursor to Field Papers
Boundaries Map no yes
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yes SVG administrative boundaries only, created by User:wambacher
mapworks
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PNG, SVG display either single objects or a whole category (so far: buildings ways etc) with a user defined fill and outline colour
Part of Inkatlas page with elevation contours.
MapOSMatic street index

Local services

  • cycle.travel (web) - lets you download a really nice vector PDF after planning a cycle route on the site (Western Europe only, log-in needed for PDF export)
  • Get Veloroad - generates vector and raster images for selected area and size (in mm), allows adding GPX trace. Russia and Baltic states only. Code on github.
  • mapwebbing.eu produces a high quality PNG bitmap file with selection of a certain area and DPI parameter. Currently in German only.
  • printmaps-osm.de PDF with embedded vector data, info legend, print size max. 5000x5000mm, map data available for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, different map styles. BETA, currently in German only.

Other tools specifically for producing printable maps

  • 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.

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 ([1]) - Static map images in the mapquest style
    • bigmap ([2], 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

Big printout of a Mapnik rendered 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. Maperitive is successor to Kosmos. 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.

Usage examples

Styles suitable for black & white printing

Tile of map using Toner style

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:

Other links / tutorials