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I want to create a fictional map using the OSM format/technology (like the JOSM editor). I'm of course not going to submit it to the server. However, I can't see a way to easily render the data. I don't like the look of JOSM (using the default Carto style would be optimal.)

I've heard about OpenGeofiction, but it probably wouldn't work for my needs because my project probably wouldn't be realistic enough to their standards. I also don't have a spare computer to set up my own instance of the server. QGIS looks a lot more complex than using OSM editors, but I've done some googling and it seems that it plus tilemill are the closest to what I want. Is there any simple application to render an .osm file as a styled slippy map? Or, is there a way to use tilemill with OSM-format data and styles?

I'm on Windows 10.

asked 24 May '20, 00:06

js104's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Essentially, there are two things that you need to do:

  1. Actually editing the data
  2. Creating a map from it

Of the two, the second is the one that you have most options with. If you're on Windows and "just want to create a map" then in addition to the options listed elsewhere Docker might be an option. You don't need a spare computer - all of the setup and plumbing of a Ubuntu tile server is handled by the Docker container and you don't need to worry about it.

With regard to the first, for a "normal map" JOSM is almost certainly still the best option. Don't worry about what things look like in there as you'll be using something else for rendering (though you can change that if you want to, as maxerickson has mentioned).

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answered 24 May '20, 10:45

SomeoneElse's gravatar image

SomeoneElse ♦
accept rate: 16%

Yeah, I figured I would need another program to render. I'll check out docker and the other options and see which one works the best.

(24 May '20, 14:21) js104

As an aside, one thing that I wondered about when I wrote the switch2osm page for docker was how much "docker specific" info there should be there. There's lots of docker stuff all over the internet, so I wasn't sure how much "setting up docker" should ne on the switch2osm page as it wasn't anything to do with OSM per se. If you think the switch2osm pages can be improved, create an issue (or a pull request) at .

(24 May '20, 23:03) SomeoneElse ♦

Sorry, I'm not very familiar with PostgreSQL. What's the equivalent of /var/lib/postgresql/12/main for Windows?

(25 May '20, 15:37) js104

As far as Tilemill, I'd expect anything you could do with QGIS would also be possible in JOSM, with maybe a conversion step. For a modest amount of data, the conversion step isn't a big deal (Michigan takes ~5 minutes to convert from OSM editing schema to osm2pgsql schema on my laptop).

JOSM does have a variety of styles available (they do tend to be mapping tools):

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answered 24 May '20, 00:17

maxerickson's gravatar image

accept rate: 32%

Looks good, I'll look into this and see if it works well.

(24 May '20, 14:20) js104

Hmm... I'm having trouble installing Tilemill. When running npm install I get many errors, the first few of which state that it got a 403 when trying to download mapnik, that there aren't pre-built binaries for mapnik and node@8.15.0, and several command fails. Is it recommended/okay to use Tilemill 0.10.1 instead of 1.0.1?

(24 May '20, 16:31) js104

Maperitive might do what you want.

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answered 24 May '20, 00:44

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%


Unfortunately, it seems that Maperitive usese its own styling and not CartoCSS.

(24 May '20, 01:21) js104

Maperitive does not use CartoCSS but it has a number of different styles you can choose from and one of them is (an older version of) similar to CartoCSS. You can also modify the styling (Maperitive styles are simple text files). You asked for an easy way and that's why people have recommended Mapritive; you can achieve a genuine CartoCSS rendering but this requires the use of PostgreSQL/PostGIS and osm2pgsl to fill the database, and then you could use "kosmtik" to render the map (this uses Mapnik behind the scenes) - all this will be possible-but-challenging under Windows, and a Linux VM might be an easier way.

(24 May '20, 10:19) Frederik Ramm ♦

Alright, I see. I'll try out these options today and see which one provides the most acceptable result.

(24 May '20, 14:17) js104

Alright, well so far Maperitive is the only one that has given me a map, but its rendering is still a bit weird/clunky (as an example: I have a city label right next to a town label. Only the city label shows until I zoom in, in which only the town label shows and the city is nowhere to be seen..) and it doesn't seem to be able to show some features (e.g. ferries). I'll wait to give the accept after I try out the other options.

(25 May '20, 19:59) js104

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question asked: 24 May '20, 00:06

question was seen: 2,496 times

last updated: 25 May '20, 19:59

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