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By default, Osmarender will give an attractive but imperfect output. This page contains tips and tricks that you might like to try. Feel free to add your own!

Adjusting the whole map

  • See Osmarender/Options for lots of things you can change to alter the appearance of the output.

Adjusting the appearance of ways

  • If ways appear too narrow or chunky, as they might on a small or large area map, adjust the scale property of the <rules> element. (A smaller scale will give bigger features, a larger scale will give smaller features)
    • Use a smaller scale for large area maps, eg 0.3
    • Use a larger scale for small area maps, eg 1.5
    • If your map is looking too sparse (roads too small compared to the gaps between them), decrease the scale factor
    • If your features are overlapping each other too much, increase the scale factor
  • If way names aren't centred in the way (i.e. the overlap with the way casing), adding dy="0.33px" to each rule for road names should fix it. For example:
    • <text k="name" dy='0.33px' text-anchor='middle' startOffset='50%' class="highway-unclassified-name" />
  • If way names don't fit into the ways (e.g. the ways are too short), or if you adjust the font properties (font-size, font-weight, etc.) of the way-type-name CSS definition.
  • If your way names are upside down, you can try to use the tag osmarender:nameDirection=-1 on a way to get the name to render the other way up. Generally Osmarender renders names properly, but with roads going in a circle this might help.
  • [obsolete] If your road names are garbled, ensure that your way has all the segments in the correct, sequential order, and that all the segments point in the same direction
    • In JOSM, you can turn on the display of segment direction in the preferences, there is also a menu command to turn segments around and to order segments in a way.
  • You can adjust particular ways by adding tags to them in your map editor, e.g. add svg:font-size=0.5 to make a way's name appear smaller than others, or svg:fill=red to highlight the road by filling it with red rather than the default. Only do this in your local copy, do not upload these tags!
  • [obsolete] If you find triangular gaps where two segments inside a way join at an angle then you probably have ways with unordered segments. Go into JOSM and use the "order segments" menu option to fix this.
  • [obsolete -- ancient Osmarender no longer works at all] If you find triangular gaps where two ways join at an angle then you should make sure you have version 3.0 or later of Osmarender. A number of bugs relating to cracks in roads were fixed in this version. If you still have the problem change the appropriate line styles in your osm-map-features.xml to use rounded rather than butted ends - see this mailing list posting for details. This does have the side effect of making cul-de-sacs have rounded ends however.
  • To disable the bezier curves on a way (e.g. power lines) add the pseudo class "no-bezier".


  • Open the SVG up in an editor like Inkscape once it's created to manually fix any small bugs, such as amenity names overlapping with ways.
  • Firefox 2.0 and above, Internet Explorer/Adobe SVG viewer and Inkscape do render street names, Firefox 1.5 did not.
  • If you create a thematic map (e.g. a railroad map) it's very likely that your SVG file contains garbage (unused paths). Open the file with Inkscape, choose "File" -> "Vacuum defs" from the menu and save. This sometimes saves a lot of space. (Note: This is because current version of Osmarender creates a path definition for every way before it knows what needs rendering - I'll try to improve this in the next versions 80n 11:28, 26 Aug 2006 (BST))
  • Ever wondered, why SVG stroke-linecap don't work with other than 'round'? This is the smart-linecap feature of osmarender/orp: you have to set the attribute smart-linecap="no" on the line drawing tag. --Andy 17:34, 29 March 2008 (UTC)