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Hey everyone, this is more of a user based question than a technical one. If I wanted to embed OSM on my website, how can I turn off the buildings and other overlays like commerical areas and residential areas?


asked 19 Jan '16, 09:59

PeteInIndia's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


Which rendering are you referring to? There are countless different renderings of the OpenStreetMap data, and quite a few of them don't contain any "overlays".

(19 Jan '16, 16:54) alester

Sorry, to clarify I meant with the Standard layer or the MapQuest Open layer. I wanted to be able to display the map but without the buildings and most of the overlays that denote the commercial/residential neighbourhoods.

(19 Jan '16, 17:54) PeteInIndia

Another option that may or may not work for you is to create your own map tiles. If you only want a small area (say the size of one smallish country rather than the whole world) the server you'd need to do that is "desktop PC" or smaller not "large expensive server". You could if you wanted to use the "standard" style unchanged and remove buildings from the data before creating map tiles (actually only about 3 lines of code), though of course "creating your own map tiles" is always going to be more complicated than "using someone else's".

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answered 19 Jan '16, 19:01

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

The standard and MapQuest Open layers use pre-rendered tiles. That is, they take the OSM data, apply certain rules that they've determined ahead of time to define how objects should be rendered, and then static image files are created. There are no overlays, so if someone wanted to remove some objects, such a change would have to occur earlier in the rendering process by changing the rules.

If you want a rendering without buildings, you'll have to look at alternate providers. This list is a good starting point, but there are probably many others out there that may not be on this list.

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answered 19 Jan '16, 18:26

alester's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%

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question asked: 19 Jan '16, 09:59

question was seen: 5,150 times

last updated: 16 Sep '19, 00:07

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