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Hi, I am new to the mapping world (an architecture student) and trying to create a simple map of New York City. I would like ideally to have a map of just the streets as single black lines on a black background, with the option of underlaying a faded satellite image. I can't seem to figure out how to edit a map to get this. If I can't get it that simple, at least a gray-scale map with streets (or block outlines) without showing street names or the names of anything else - no extra lines for public transit, etc. Thanks in advance!!

asked 06 Apr '11, 23:24

the%20coop%20guy's gravatar image

the coop guy
accept rate: 0%

edited 11 Apr '15, 14:43

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


You will need to install rendering software, then download the area of interest, create a suitable rendering style, and run your data through the rendering engine to arrive at a PNG file or something.

If you choose to use the renderer Maperitive (reasonably simple to install and suitable for beginners), a style sheet that just draws a thin line for every road could look like this:

        street : highway

    map-background-color : #EEEEEE

    target: street
           line-color : black
           line-width : 1
        draw : line

If you choose to install the renderer Mapnik - which requires some other programs to be installed as well, is more difficult, but can process larger amounts of data -, then you'll find a very simple style example on the web site for an OSM book I've co-authored, here. (The "Mapnik waterways example")

permanent link

answered 06 Apr '11, 23:36

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 16 Apr '11, 21:55


Great thanks for the help! I was deciding between the two and went with Mapnik - it seems to be the most powerful, and the most useful especially as I plan to do more of this in the future and in grad school. I ended up downloading Python and PROJ_Framework to get everything fully installed. I have never used Python and never really coded/programmed anything, so this will be an adventure for me! I also found a program called TileMill which seems to have some pretty amazing graphics capabilities.


(07 Apr '11, 00:43) the coop guy

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question asked: 06 Apr '11, 23:24

question was seen: 19,804 times

last updated: 11 Apr '15, 14:43

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