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I am using to make static maps of fire calls in my area (to help with routing). I love the detail of the buildings and types of roads etc. One thing I am finding, though, is that I would like a few more roads to have names listed on them. Many times there are a 1/4 to 1/3 of the main roads that have names. For what I want this isn't quite enough. Is there any way to increase the number of roads with names listed?

asked 24 Feb '13, 00:07

brechmos's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I have got the same problem, and the answer given by aseerel4c26 isn't concrete enough that it would be of any help: Where can I find a suitable style, and how do I apply it (for applying other styles I only found the option of finding a ready-made website at , but there doesn't seem to be anything suitable)? Or, if not available, is it easy to make just this change and get a map out of it? (Up to now I have been a simple OSM user not thinking much about what's behind it.) If it's not so easy either, is anybody willing to do the job?

(I have just asked this as a new question because I found this one only afterwards - and at least tried to delete it again - didn't get a clear confirmation, so I'm sorry if it wasn't successful and the question is now a duplicate.)

My impression is that only those street names are shown that fit completely on the street (and sometimes even not all of those). That is especially annoying when I want a printout (which is in a way the old-fashioned variant of the "static maps" Brechmos wants), but also in other contexts I consider it rather a workaround that I have to enlarge the map temporarily to see what I want. My idea is to get as many street names as possible, abbreviated if necessary (ideally with "good" abbreviations, e.g. using an initial for the given name of a person the street is named after; but just truncating would already help).

Well, to my impression Google Maps isn't much better, but that just means I miss that feature even more. And I know you can't challenge fixed-scale maps with street names manually placed in suitable positions just for that scale; but at the moment OSM is still very far from what I imagine to be possible.

(04 Aug '13, 14:48) reinhard16

@reinhard16: I have converted my "comment" to an "answer" now and extended it (see below). I hope that is more helpful now.

(04 Aug '13, 15:13) aseerel4c26 ♦

Hi Brechmos, There 2 possible reasons for the picture you’re getting:

  1. There still have to be added several names to the streets in your town, district or region. In this case threes still a lot of work to do. But if you’re finished you’ll be satisfied with the result.
  2. On the other hand names are attached to the middle or centre of the way or road. So if you make a long distance road in one move it could end up with just one name and it appears to have no name. On the other hand adding a name to each part or section of a way could make the map less readable. Too many names are making the map or way invisible. Or at the end you could built your own separate map based on the OSM data and add all the names you need to plot the routes. There already maps for different users all over the world.

Greetz and watch out

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answered 24 Feb '13, 00:21

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

edited 04 Aug '13, 14:57

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Many/most of the streets have names in OSM. To give you (or anyone) an idea. I was actually playing with to compare OSM and google maps. Hmmm... here is my thought. When I zoom in on OSM there is one jump that goes from few street names (only the very major roads, 5th most zoom level)) to many street names (4th most zoom level). There doesn't seem to be a smooth transition in the number of streetnames. Then when I go to the country side just north it would seem to me that there could be many more names on the screen as it still won't be cluttered. Make sense?

(24 Feb '13, 00:41) brechmos

Please also see Hendrikklaas' answer on this page. Extending on that …

@brechmos: if you are not satisfied with the street name placement or number of shown street names in a specific zoom level you can choose another map style or make your own map style. Our standard "mapnik" map style (I guess you are looking at that one) is not suitable for everyone. I is probably mainly for us mappers. There are other styles for every need.

See in the wiki: Renderer (e.g. Maperative) and/or OSM on paper (mostly about the already available styles). This web map service with customizable maps seems to be very easy to use, but I do not know if customizing to your satisfaction is possible: (see top menu: change style, edit style)

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answered 24 Feb '13, 01:02

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 04 Aug '13, 15:11

Hi keep in mind that every cartographer has to choose between the visual map and the additional data, names, borders and the figuration, now you got to choose too. Or take a final step and make your own map if you can’t find a sufficient one. OSM as a solid base.

(04 Aug '13, 15:33) Hendrikklaas

In I found some influence factors, but I haven't got the impression that they help much. It doesn't say anything about abbreviating, and in most cases without abbreviating it doesn't work. But Mapweaver should do the job. In it says: "Any perl command and function can be applied." I'll see whether it is easy enough to use.

(05 Aug '13, 19:49) reinhard16

please read the comments, do's and dont's on abbreviating in this forum

(05 Aug '13, 20:11) Hendrikklaas

huh, @Hendrikklaas, most (all?!) comments here on this site will be about adding abbreviated street names to the OSM database - which should not be done. But of course in a rendering abbreviation can be done.

(05 Aug '13, 21:39) aseerel4c26 ♦

There is a problem about the Mapweaver idea: It doesn't seem to be available for Windows :-( The predecessor might run in a DOS box, but I doubt a bit. And anyway, it doesn't seem that the length of the street on the map is accessible for functions applied on the street names. So regular abbreviations can be done globally, but truncating at the end of the street doesn't work.

(10 Aug '13, 21:11) reinhard16

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question asked: 24 Feb '13, 00:07

question was seen: 8,080 times

last updated: 10 Aug '13, 21:11

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