OSM on Paper

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OpenStreetMap offers many possibilities for creating high resolution paper maps. Unlike commercial map services such as 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.

There is also "Share" button on the right icons block. It allows to export into: PNG, JPEG, SVG, PDF. The PDF export 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
Printmaps.net Hillshading, contour lines yes (300 DPI, Vector) no A2, A3, A4, Letter, custom 133 x 133 cm 1:50,000,000 – 1:500 GPX, KML, GeoJSON 75dpi PNG, high-res for nonprofits free printable elevation profiles No yes SVG, AI, PSD, PNG Admin area highlighting, route drawing, POI batch geocoding, isochrones
Printmaps-osm.de yes 300 PPI no user defined 2500 x 2500 mm 1:200.000 – 1:100 yes yes open source No yes PNG, PDF, SVG API with CLI client. GPX, KML, GeoJSON, CSV data import possible. Several map styles.
Mappa.Pro yes yes no user-defined user-defined 1:1000000 – 1:1000 no yes, pro plans available yes No yes PNG, SVG, embed code Runs in browsers, uses vector tiles, customizable styles, multiple map projects, content & border features, SVG & GeoJSON import
milvusmap.eu yes yes yes A5, A4, Letter, Legal A2, A3 1:50000 – 1:1000 no yes no No yes PDF only small areas can be printed, colour style only
print.get-map.org (a MapOSMatic fork) contours, shading 300dpi (72dpi for large formats due to Cairo Graphics image size limitations) yes A4, Letter 2xA0, A0, A1, A2, A3, custom sizes actual scale depends on bounding box and paper format yes yes source code, own style file: AGPL No minutely PDF, SVG, PNG, 8bit PNG, JPG only small areas can be printed (~150km x 150km max.), provides more styles than original MapOSMatic plus selectable overlays
Field Papers (web) contours, shading no yes A4, Letter A3 no no yes source code, no license specified No yes PDF UTM grid option, bar scale (no lexical scale)
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
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.
hebstreits.com no Vector no square infinitely scalable 1:250.000 – 1:1000 no no no No yes Editable Vector PDF A service that offers urban vector maps in predefined graphic styles for printed use.
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.
TrackMapper no no no yes yes title="Standard Scales"
yes yes yes no yes Bitmap, to be saved manually ib web browser Create images of maps based on OpenStreetMap data with your own styles: Each map element group can be switched on/off, with own colour and style defined.
boundlessmaps.com no Vector no no yes 1:20.000 - 1:8.000 no no no no yes Layered and fully editable AI and PDF High-quality vector maps in different styles. Areas vary from small towns to whole counties.
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
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+)
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.
Print Frame Co contours 300, 600 DPI no 4" x 6" - 24" x 36" yes yes no no no no yes PDF, Quality prints for decorative purposes Not a "print your own map" site, but a service which sends you an unframed/ framed print or provides a digital PDF.
SCHWARZPLAN.eu contours 10m > 300 DPI, Vector yes individual 5000 x 2900 cm (Canvas) 1:100.000 no Yes (about 50 Cities) yes no yes PDF, DWG, DXF Nolli maps of complete cities and urban areas for architects, urban planners & designer
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
Craft and Oak yes 300dpi & Vector no A4 - A0 yes no no no no no yes PDF. Print Map Design and Printing Service
Mapbox Studio yes yes
no no Proprietary UI based on Mapbox GL Yes
PNG etc. Announcement
Alvar Carto no yes 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
Quality prints for decorative purposes Not a "print your own map" site, but a service which sends you a print for framing.
Mapiful 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.
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
Positive Prints no 300 DPI no 100x70cm, 70x50cm, 18x24in, 24x36in no no no no JPEG custom colors, map markers, digital download maps
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 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 package to calculate the minimum amount of pages needed to render a given set of GPX tracks. The actual rendering is done by an external application such as hm-render-mapnik or hm-render-landez, which can be used standalone as well.
  • 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
  • OpenArdenneMap CartoCSS style and Python script for creating high resolution topographic maps. Specifically adapted for printed maps. The map style is mainly adapted to the Ardenne area (Belgium, France & Germany) but can be applied worldwide.
  • 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.
  • limexMapDownloader Bash Script to download TMS Tiles and merge them for easy Printing with Scale Bar.
  • Hebstreits Vector Maps Library with predefined city maps in various styles for artistic printed matter.

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. 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