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I recently added some more local amenities to the map in my home town and whilst the play parks, shops and cafes, telephone boxes and post boxes are now there, the public benches and picnic tables are not.

The current project I am involved in is about creating circular walks of varying length and difficulty around doctors surgeries to encourage patients to take more exercise to improve their healthy lifestyle so I really need these to be included in the map.

I used the symbols that were already there in the symbol library so why do they not show up in the map?

asked 23 Feb '12, 13:35

Big%20Angus's gravatar image

Big Angus
accept rate: 0%

edited 07 Mar '15, 13:31

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Everything shows up somewhere. Here, for example, is one ad-hoc renderer - type in a value and you'll see the distribution of it.

(02 May '13, 00:28) SomeoneElse ♦

The default view on can't show everything that is added, and benches and picnic tables are amongst those items that don't. The default view is just that though (and is powered by Mapnik). If you want to produce your own maps you can include or exclude whatever details you want. See for example:

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answered 23 Feb '12, 13:47

EdLoach's gravatar image

EdLoach ♦
accept rate: 22%


Especially check out TileMill, which I have found to be an excellent tool for easily creating custom maps, especially if you have any familiarity with CSS. Check out the OSM Bright stylesheet which will help you get up and running quickly. Adding benches, tables, etc. is easy from there.

(24 Feb '12, 14:56) JoshD

I was wondering why the park benches didn't show up too. The first answer says that not everything can be shown on the default view but I would have thought they could appear on the largest screen magnification. Names appear and disappear depending on the magnification so why can't all the other features appear when you zoom in?

(28 Apr '13, 15:49) Jonga

@Jonga: Everything which is in our data can appear. There are many map styles and maybe there is also one which shows everything (somehow). For benches: A bench right in the middle of the screen. Yes, it may be that the current standard style could be improved - programming help is welcome. Search the wiki for Mapnik. But you also should note that maybe showing everything creates too much visual clutter / confusion.

(28 Apr '13, 16:18) aseerel4c26 ♦

For a more theoretical text on the subject see wikipedia on "Cartographic generalisation":

(29 Apr '13, 09:45) gormo

Enter "map style" in the search box above and read some of the responses. Especially, read the answer to "I have made edits but they don't show up on the map".

Essentially, you will have to create your own map if you require specific amenities to be shown.

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answered 23 Feb '12, 13:47

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

You find some by using the search box, if that's any use to you.alt text

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answered 30 Apr '13, 20:26

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%


Thanks for the suggestions. You’re right that a search for ‘bench’ and place name does find them. Even so, I am still puzzled by inconsistencies as to which icons show and which don’t on the standard OSM view. Of the ones I’ve noticed: post boxes, gates, pharmacies and schools show, whereas benches, stiles, veterinarians and colleges don’t. On my screen, the largest magnification gives about 10m to 1cm, so I wouldn’t have thought clutter would be a problem.

(30 Apr '13, 22:19) Jonga

I agree. If there's room and no overlap, I don't see why it shouldn't show it.

(06 May '13, 04:56) Russkel

I'm having exactly the same problem and think the same way as Jonga. Why should I add things, which in the will not show up in the map? I completly agree on the cluttering thing, and I'm also aware of the possibility to make a custom map.

But: my motivation making entries to OSM is not to make it visible for me, but for everybody. I added a cool artistic place in downtown city, which a lot of people search. It does not show. But the stupid old fashioned theatre next to it does. This is FRUSTRATING for a editor. So I will either stop adding cool places, or choose an inadequate amenity, just to make the thing show up on the map. Neither is good for OSM I think.

=> I think every amenity should show up. For the ones not having a symbol yet, there should at least be a very tiny star or something, so that the thing can be selected.

=> At the long run, somehow there should be map which gives the choice to select the types of POI he/she want's to see - or do we really want that creating "useable" maps is left to others???


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answered 01 May '13, 15:44

nounours77's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 01 May '13, 15:47


Please note this is not a place for discussions but a Question&Answer system. If you want to start a discussion use our forum or mailing lists.

The map you are talking about is just one of many many OSM based maps. There are lots of other OSM based services displaying different objects. Some also offer to choose the types of POIs to display, for example OpenStreetBrowser. Of course it would be nice to have such a feature on our main map, too, but we need people to get involved and implement/improve such a feature. Just wishing for it doesn't automagically make it appear, unfortunately.

Also take a look at our top then tasks. Clickable POIs and a POI inspection tool are very similar to your suggestion and high priority. Maybe you can help to implement them.

(02 May '13, 07:39) scai ♦

thanks. you're absolutly right. Please understand, OSM is a complicated project to be fully understand by beginners. But I try to support this more ....

(06 May '13, 00:02) nounours77

meta: converting that "answer" to a comment below the question did not work (technical problems still) ... only both comments were converted.

(07 Mar '15, 13:39) aseerel4c26 ♦

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question asked: 23 Feb '12, 13:35

question was seen: 34,545 times

last updated: 07 Mar '15, 13:39

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum