I just started using OpenStreetMap, I am not an advanced user, I just want OpenStreetMap to replace Google Maps in my daily geographical searches.

I would like to display the map from the main website using the English names everywhere. Is it possible via some easy manipulation not involving javascript and such ?

asked 18 Nov '17, 09:24

vkubicki's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


While you've gotten the correct answer already, but I would like to point out that while it is local names that are displayed with the default rendering, English names are in the database, and are searchable.

For example if I search for "Beijing", the first result is the what you'd expect, the capital of China. The result is displayed in English. If I click on it, I get all the tags on the Beijing. This includes well over 100 names in different languages. On the map it is written as "北京市", but in the sidebar all those different languages are displayed.

While this is a bit of an extreme example, it allows maps to be rendered in different languages.

Multilingual data is viewed as important to OSM, and the prominent local names, the non-English names (often written in non-Latin alphabets) is only one manifestation of that.

(26 Nov '17, 05:32) keithonearth

You are (currently) out of luck (the question is btw a FAQ), what you are seeing on the website when you select the standard style are images that are stored as individual image files. There is simply nothing to manipulate to start with.

Naturally it is quite possible to generate a map with English names from OSM data, if you look at the cycle map layer you for example will see English names everywhere we have them in the data.

That was the short version, the long version is, yes there is technology available that moves the rendering of the map images to your browser, which gives a lot more flexibility with such things. I wouldn't wager a bet on when we will switch or provide such functionality in parallel to the current system.

The other point is that the infrastructure at openstreetmap.org is geared towards supporting our contributors and from that point of view it makes a lot of sense to show the local names.

permanent link

answered 18 Nov '17, 23:40

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 19%

edited 18 Nov '17, 23:44

OK thank you. I understand the problem, but maybe rendering one local and one all-English map could be useful.

(19 Nov '17, 01:59) vkubicki

There may be third party websites or desktop programs that can render an English-only map, using the OSM data.

(19 Nov '17, 02:20) dsh4

You can take a look at Tiles in the OSM wiki, mapstyle.petschge.de, Leaflet Provider Demo and Map Compare for various OSM-based maps. Some of them have all-English names.

(19 Nov '17, 09:17) scai ♦

@vkubicki For the avoidance of doubt, the OSM website currently renders 4 maps, 2 of which render English names.

(19 Nov '17, 09:57) SomeoneElse ♦

@SomeoneElse: are there url to reach those renderings ?

(02 Dec '17, 10:41) vkubicki

On http://www.openstreetmap.org/ click the 4th button down at the right-hand side. It looks a bit like a stack of books, and there's a tooltip that says "layers". The Cycle Map and the Transport Map show names in English as well as the local name. When you select e.g. the Cycle map you'll see the URL change to to something like http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=10/39.9066/115.9799&layers=C so that when you send that link to someone it loads the cycle map for them too.

(02 Dec '17, 14:09) SomeoneElse ♦

Yes,you just need to add "&layers=" with C, T or H at the end, for example with Beijing: cycle map: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=8/39.802/116.112&layers=C , transportation map: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=8/39.802/116.112&layers=T , humanitarian map: http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=8/39.802/116.112&layers=H

(03 Dec '17, 04:37) kocio
showing 5 of 7 show 2 more comments

If you like the standard style and you miss only the English labels, you can use this service:


It uses slightly modified osm-carto code, so it's possible to set your own service with localized names in any other language, if you have the skills to deploy OSM maps rendering infrastructure:


permanent link

answered 26 Nov '17, 03:06

kocio's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%


Unfortunately your answer gave the intention to a lot of people, that this server is a free service for third party maps which it never was!

This causes a lot of trouble in recent days :(

Please do not use this server for any commercial project. I will be able to make an exception for non-profit stuff, bit this is not a free to use service so do not use it but set up your own server instead.

Among others Geofabrik is providing this map style as a commercial service.



(19 Aug, 14:28) giggls

If you do want names displayed in English on those tiles in the osm style, there is a new project osMap that shows tiles with English labels (amongst others) using transliteration if no English name tag is available.

It's also optimized for faster tile-loading speed depending on where you are right now: just use

Some more European versions (French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and Danish) can be found via www.osmap.info.

permanent link

answered 28 Nov, 22:00

Spiekerooger's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 01 Dec, 14:20

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question asked: 18 Nov '17, 09:24

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last updated: 01 Dec, 14:20

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