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Is there some sort of setting I have made that prevents most city/town/village names from displaying until really far zoomed in when viewing (and not editing) the map? Because, unlike most of the commercial maps out there, OpenStreetMap displays county boundaries it is extremely useful for genealogical research. But not displaying town* names limits the utility of the map. I do notice that airport and/or landing strip names are much more prominently displayed, whether a major commercial airport or some long-unused bare patch in someone’s pasture.

As an example, look at Lee County, Texas. At zoom level 11, there are zero town names displayed (not even the county seat of Giddings) but seven airports. Compare to this to Bing at a comparable zoom level where the county seat and eight other communities are listed—including the fabulously named Dime Box, Texas—and zero airports. In fact, you have to be at zoom level 15 before the name “Dime Box” appears on OpenStreetMap.

*I use the word “town” not as a specifier of a certain size or class of settlement or legal entity, but in the more generic sense of “a small community” (i.e. not a city, like Houston or San Antonio)

asked 28 Jul '16, 13:02

Bellhalla's gravatar image

Bellhalla
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accept rate: 0%


Openstreetmap has a number of different styles demonstrated at the main website. You'll find all but the standard one show hamlet (which is what Dime Box is tagged as) starting at z13, e.g. Cycle Map, Transport Map and Humanitarian. I suspect the last is perhaps most suitable as it also shows the boundaries you mention.

The difficulty in designing styles is getting something that will work globally, where some areas have spare settlements, and others are more crowded.

It is possible to download the data and design your own style.

permanent link

answered 28 Jul '16, 14:54

EdLoach's gravatar image

EdLoach ♦
19.5k16156280
accept rate: 22%

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question asked: 28 Jul '16, 13:02

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last updated: 28 Jul '16, 14:54

NOTICE: help.openstreetmap.org is being shutdown on 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum