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Openstreetbrowser logo.svg

The OpenStreetBrowser was an application to 'browse' through the information in the displayed part of the map. The aim of the project was to provide a highly dynamic map that makes every mapped feature easily available to the user. It used to provide a worldwide coverage and a (mostly) uptodate database. The project shut down in January of 2016. The source code is still available, but there is no running instance anymore.

The OpenStreetBrowser in January 2011

Similar to common Wikis and also the main page of the Openstreetbrowser website showed a narrow menu on the left side, most of the page being used for the display of the map. In contrast to most Wikis the menu was not static, but rather the content of the map could be browsed in categories. For the map a special style was developed (sorry guys, I neither like the default Mapnik nor Osmarender styles), and special overlays were displayed to support the current browsed categories. When you click on the map (left or right click is settable), you got a context menu with the option to select an object to show detailed information or to place a marker.

Full instructions are available.

Note: OpenStreetBrowser did not work with all internet browsers (in particular Internet Explorer failed). See further notes below.


Example for Public Transportation Layer
Example for embedded Wikipedia
Example for Routing Service


For ordinary map users

  • Click on objects on the map (perhaps a road, a building, or a lake) to see what details have been recorded for them.
  • View brief Wikipedia article photos and details if available.
  • Use the 'categories' system to get clear views on the map of lots of useful things: public transport systems, cafes, public telephones, cultural sites, walking routes, cycle routes, pipelines, a list of streets, administrative areas, websites, and very much more.
  • Calculate routing.
  • Work with more than one map style as a base, there are also some useful overlays.

For specialist map users

  • Set up new categories to display or search for specific information if interest to you.

For OpenStreetMap editors

  • Click on objects to inspect the full set of tags.
  • Quick links to OpenStreetMap browsing or editing (Potlatch) functions.
  • Inspect map completeness or the use of specialist tags with category system.

Multi-language supprt

  • Default base map provides English names where available
  • Data view shows names in your preferred language.
  • OpenStreetBrowser interface is available in many languages. You can help improving those or adding more.

Other features

  • Public API


Status (old information)

(Gnome-dialog-information.svg Check the ChangeLog for new features) - this is out of date, see blog below.

Gnome-dialog-information.svg For more information about the development have a look at

Gnome-dialog-information.svg Current data version: no older than about 10 mins

Gnome-dialog-information.svg Available parts of the planet: worldwide

Gnome-dialog-information.svg Working with some browsers only (e.g. up to date Firefox, Opera (tested briefly), Safari on ipad, ...please test others and list...) but NOT Internet Explorer.

Got a question? Check OpenStreetBrowser/FAQ first.


People involved

Helping Hands:

How to help

Gnome-applications-graphics.svg Good at designing icons? We could need some help on the Stylesheet.
Preferences-desktop-locale.svg Help translating.
Face-monkey.svg Report bugs.
Gnome-dialog-information.svg You have a good idea? Suggest new features.
Utilities-terminal.svg You have knowledge in PHP, JavaScript, CSS and/or HTML? Please contact one of us.
Network-transmit.svg We need more hardware! Do you have a server (at university or somewhere else) for us?
Utilities-terminal.svg Help to get the browser working with Internet Explorer.

Used software

Background rendering

People write about the OpenStreetBrowser

Download Source

The source of OpenStreetBrowser is available in a neat Gitorious-Repository on There's a master-branch which contains the "stable" version, the version-branches containing the different version. There might be other branches too. If you have problems to get it to run, please tell me, I'll try to improve the documentation. Have fun!

See also