Is it possible to remove the tags, for example shop names and taxi signs, from a section of the map so you can get back to the base map - so that it's just plain roads and building outlines and so on.
Yes, the default map on the OpenStreetMap homepage shows a lot of features such as shop names, and can look rather cluttered for some purposes.
There are alternatives. Take a look at open.mapquest.com. That's OpenStreetMap data rendered differently. Take a look at maps.cloudmade.com and try clicking 'Edit map styles'. You can create your own map rendering styles there. That's all OpenStreetMap data, and with both these services, you're allowed to embed the map on your own website.
How is this possible? Because OpenStreetMap offers access to the raw data people can use 'Rendering' software to render the map in their own styles. See the Rendering page for details of the options. If you want something very similar to the OpenStreetMap default style, but with less features showing, then you'd want to look into Mapnik and the OpenStreetMap stylesheet. This software can be quite technical to get up and running, and also resource-hungry for the server you run it on, but it does give you complete cartographic control, and that's something which is pretty much uniquely possible using OpenStreetMap's free and open data set.
answered 28 Feb '11, 18:01