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Hi, I need help to download a map (a small section of a city) from OSM, and convert it into a graphic for use in a mobile app.

Map details that I need:

  • Streets and street names
  • with or without plain background
  • street line drawing and street names in separate layers (not a must, preferred)

What I will add to the map: I will need to add points of interest (POIs) and draw a route (maybe a dotted line) connecting the POIs. This might be done by myself or, if I find it too difficult, done by someone else. For POIs, I have the coordinates.

How map will be used: The final map, with streets, street names and POIs and route (maybe a dotted line) will be used as a graphic (png format) in a mobile app that I am involved in creating. The map will be used offline. GPS function only for locating; no data download.

Software I will use to "edit" downloaded map: I have both Illustrator and PhotoShop. I guess I will be using Illustrator.

What do I need and what do I do?

  • What "type" of file do I need to download?
  • Is there a resolution or scale that I should aim for?
  • How do I download such a file?
  • What do I need to download such a file (e.g. software, editor)?
  • Is there something I missed that I should know about?

Hope I have been clear in what I need help with and look forward to much needed assistance from you guys.

Thanks in advance :)

asked 09 Nov '10, 06:57

John%20Lim's gravatar image

John Lim
accept rate: 0%

retagged 13 Nov '10, 17:19

Breki's gravatar image


The best that you will get without doing some work yourself is indeed the export tab. Note that you can export to SVG and PDF, and set any scale you like, so that gives you some control over the level of detail shown, but no separate layers.

If you want more, you will have to install some rendering software and provide it with style sheets that describe your style (e.g. use Mapnik, or Osmarender, both capable of producing vector output).

If you are happy with doing all of the cartography work in AI, then see this wiki article.

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answered 09 Nov '10, 10:20

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 09 Nov '10, 10:21

Take a look at Maperitive. You can define your own map stylesheet and produce both raster (PNG, JPG) and layered vector images (SVG).

UPDATE: The new version of Maperitive now produces SVG export specifically designed for Adobe Illustrator: It can also render SVGs for less problematic programs like Inkscape.

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answered 13 Nov '10, 17:19

Breki's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

edited 20 Nov '10, 19:21

You can export a map image from the 'export' tab on the main page. Just type in boundary box, scale, map and filetype. All the other questions depends on your application and how you want the final product to look. Remember to use the proper attribution ("© OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA") and that the map (not the application) is released under compatible license.

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answered 09 Nov '10, 07:21

Gnonthgol's gravatar image

Gnonthgol ♦
accept rate: 16%

Thanks, Gnonthgol.

I have tried to export, both Mapnik Image and Osmarender Image. Both contain more details then I need, and when opened in Illustrator are in single layers. I just need line drawing of streets and street names. Cleaner and easier for me to work with.

Also, the resolution does not seem to be good enough when I tested them at the pixels required for my mobile app.

And yes, I will attribute fully.

(09 Nov '10, 07:43) John Lim

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question asked: 09 Nov '10, 06:57

question was seen: 13,199 times

last updated: 20 Nov '10, 19:21

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