I have looked into the extracts for Sweden provided by Geofabrik but cannot seem to find any data for lakes in Sweden.

I'm new with the community and using TileMill for styling layers which only include the basic natural earth shapes for each country.

Any help or ideas will be much appreciated.


I downloaded the (global) lakes file from Natural Earth.

asked 18 Mar '13, 18:27

ptz0n's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 19 Mar '13, 14:04

I can't find any major lakes in the Geofabrik data either (using QGIS), so thanks for pointing me to the Natural Earth files!

(03 Sep '14, 10:03) rotsee

You cannot find all area objects in Geofabrik shapefiles. As said on their website, these shapefiles do not contain so called multipolygons. Multipolygons are used for mapping large area (like Lake Vättern) and areas with holes (lakes with islands).

Not only a lot of lakes may be missing, these shapefiles may also not contain some landuse areas, some forests etc. Geofabrik wants to earn money and processing multipolygons and other types of relations takes a lot of time.

There are two solutions:

  1. either you pay for a shapefile containing more data
  2. or you use their extracts in PBF oder OSM-XML format. This extracts are raw data extracts (small pieces of the OSM planet file, i.e. without version history of all objects) and contain everything.

If you use option (2), then you have to use a PostgresSQL database as data source in TileMill. There are several tools to import OSM data in a PostgresSQL database – osm2pgsql, Osmosis, Imposm

Or if you still want to use Shapefiles, you have to build shapefiles on your own. This is usually done using a PostgresSQL database.

If you do not want to use a database you can use Maperitive as renderer. It does not use a database and that's why it is not suitable for large datasets.

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answered 03 Sep '14, 11:05

Nakaner's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

I think Natural Earth is the way to go, but just for the record, if you wanted, you could run a crude Overpass API query such as this (warning: very large file!):


and get an OSM-formatted file. You could then use OGR or some other tool to convert that into a shapefile.

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answered 03 Sep '14, 15:24

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

If you cannot see the lakes you are looking for when rendering the OSM data tilemill it is a matter of the renderer itself, because I am quite sure that the lake data is included in the raw OSM data that you can download from the servers of geofabrik on format osm or pbf ...

Without telling us how your rendering rules of tilemill look like we are quite not able to find your errors.

Or ask the guys from mapbox directly.

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answered 18 Mar '13, 19:28

stephan75's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

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question asked: 18 Mar '13, 18:27

question was seen: 4,505 times

last updated: 03 Sep '14, 15:24

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