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Hi, I am looking at Paris. The icons of Metro/RER are rectangles, instead of the official icons. When looking at specs, I find type:FR:RATP / metro. So, the correct icons should have been displayed. Why isn"t it so, and how can I change it? Thanks

asked 26 Mar '17, 13:19

zevbn's gravatar image

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Can you paste a url as an example showing what you see and if able a copy of the icon you expect to see. I am unfamiliar with type:FR:RATP / metro with regards to the Openstreetmap but from your query does it follow that I should see Queensland Metro Rail icons for the rail stations in my nearest capital city?

(26 Mar '17, 15:12) nevw

Thanks for your answer. In the middle of the screen you can see a off-blue rectangle named "Cité". This a metro station. I expect to see an icon like in google maps (i hope it will work:,2.3470585,18.5z?hl=en). Since the marker is typed as SR:RATP, OSM should use its symbols.

(26 Mar '17, 15:43) zevbn

The blue square is rather modest in comparison.

(26 Mar '17, 16:24) nevw

That's not the point. The blue square bears no info! One expects to be able to find a metro/RER station in a glance, not by scrutinizing all over the map. Anyhow, is there a solution?

(26 Mar '17, 17:38) zevbn

You could use the French tiles, which can be found on , they show a circle with an 'M'.

If you do not like the rendering on, you could file an improvement request on, or even better provide a patch.

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answered 26 Mar '17, 19:41

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 26 Mar '17, 23:46

Vincent%20de%20Phily's gravatar image

Vincent de P... ♦


One of the reasons why the symbols aren't "Metro" (or London Underground, or BART) symbols is because the same symbol is used worldwide.

There are, of course, lots of different maps made with OSM data - pick the one with the metro icon you prefer!

(26 Mar '17, 20:54) SomeoneElse ♦

The french style display different icons for different operators/subway types, which is very useful (for example distinguishing Metro from RER in Paris). It's not just about using french icons: it's the proper user-expected logo for each case (compare Paris against Lyon for example).

It'd be great to have the same feature on the osm-carto style, but a worldwide operator->icon mapping is a huge endeavor (maybe split into a separate project to share the load ?).

(26 Mar '17, 23:56) Vincent de P... ♦

There are any number of reasons why the main OSM map style (created with CartoCSS) may not show metro stations as you desire:

  1. It is a general map style which has to work not just in dense cities, but in many other places. The style may best be compared with topographic maps, in this case those of IGN, which show details relevant to many different things. (Note IGN only show the metro lines not the stations). The map is emphatically not a city streetmap, although OSM can be used for such purposes with different cartography.
  2. The map style must work worldwide and therefore will not use symbology unique to one particular transport operator, or even common to many maps in a given country (or instance the common 'H' in a circle for bus stops in DACH).
  3. The map style is very detailed: steps, buildings, shops etc. Large symbols for metro stations would obscure much of the detail.
  4. The symbology for transport stops (buses, metro, trams, rail) on the Carto-CSS style has been fairly consistent for nearly 10 years. Whereas it may be unfamiliar to someone used to another map, I don't believe that there is much confusion once one is familiar with the conventions of the OSM map.
  5. Particular symbols for metro lines are frequently brands protected by intellectual property law, and subject to licensing and adhering to in-house styles. I'm not sure if this is true for RATP, but it certainly is for the London Underground roundel owned by TfL.

As others have said there are alternative renders (for instance one by MapBox does show London Underground symbols), and you can advocate changes to the CartoCSS stylesheet on github.

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answered 27 Mar '17, 16:57

SK53's gravatar image

SK53 ♦
accept rate: 22%

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question asked: 26 Mar '17, 13:19

question was seen: 2,848 times

last updated: 27 Mar '17, 16:57

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