Book Image


Book Image


Overview of this book

Imagine being able to create accurate maps that look how you want them to, and use them on the Web or in print, for free. OpenStreetMap allows exactly that, with no restrictions on how or where you use your maps. OpenStreetMap is perfect for businesses that want to include maps on their website or in publications without paying high fees. With this book in hand you have the power to make, alter, and use this geographical data in a collaborative way from anywhere on the Earth.OpenStreetMap was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways. This book will allow you to take control of your own maps and use them smoothly. This book introduces the reader to the OpenStreetMap project and shows you how to participate in the project, and make use of the data it provides. No prior knowledge of the project is assumed, and technical details are kept to a minimum.In this book, you'll learn how easy it is to add your neighborhood to OpenStreetMap using inexpensive GPS equipment, or even no GPS at all. You'll find out how to communicate with other mappers working in the same area, and where to find more information about how to map the world around you.Once you have your area mapped, you'll learn how to turn this information into maps, whether for use in print or online, large or small, and with the details you want shown. The book describes several rendering methods, each suited to different types of map, and takes you through a tutorial on each one.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
About the Author
About the Reviewers
How OpenStreetMap Records Geographical Features


This book will allow you to take control of your own maps and use them smoothly. This book introduces the reader to the OpenStreetMap project and shows you how to participate in the project, and make use of the data it provides. No prior knowledge of the project is assumed, and technical details are kept to a minimum.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Making a Free, Editable Map of the World explains how and why the project was started, how freely redistributable geographic data is different from maps that are merely free of charge to use, and some of the things the project has already achieved.

Chapter 2, Getting Started at covers the main features of and how to create and personalize an account on it. It explains how to use the documentation in the OpenStreetMap wiki, and how to communicate with the OpenStreetMap community.

Chapter 3, Gathering Data using GPS looks at the tools and techniques used by the OpenStreetMap community to gather data using GPS and upload it to the website. It also explains some basic surveying techniques.

Chapter 4, How OpenStreetMap Records Geographical Features covers the types of data you can record, such as nodes, ways, and relations. It also looks at the tagging system and how the community uses and manages it.

Chapter 5, OpenStreetMap's Editing Applications looks at the basic operation of OpenStreetMap's three most popular editors, including Potlatch, JOSM, and Merkaartor.

Chapter 6, Mapping and Editing Techniques explains how to draw features based on GPS traces, how to tag them, and how to find tags that mappers have used, but not documented.

Chapter 7, Checking OpenStreetMap Data for Problems explains how to find the cause of any problems you're having with OpenStreetMap data using the data inspection tools on, the NoName layer, ITOWorld OSM Mapper, and Geofabrik's OSM Inspector.

Chapter 8, Producing Customised Maps explains how to create maps using the standard renderings on, using a standalone rendering application for Windows and Kosmos, and in Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format using Osmarender.

Chapter 9, Getting Raw OpenStreetMap Data discusses ways of accessing the data in the OpenStreetMap database, such as Planet files, the main OpenStreetMap API, and the Extended API (XAPI).

Chapter 10, Manipulating OpenStreetMap Data using Osmosis looks at a tool that is used heavily within OpenStreetMap to manipulate data from planet files or extracts, or databases containing OpenStreetMap data, called Osmosis.

Chapter 11, OpenStreetMap's Future explains some of the changes being developed by the coders and mappers working on OSM, and how they'll affect users of the data.

Who this book is for

This book would be the perfect aid for geographic-information professionals interested in using this data in their work, and web designers and developers who want to include mapping in their sites, and want a distinctive style. This book is for you if you have a need to use maps and geographic data for work or leisure, and want accurate, up-to-date maps showing the information you're interested in, without details you don't need. If you want to use maps for navigation, and want more or less detail than traditional printed maps give, this book would be perfect for you.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "The role attribute is a simple string whose values and significance is defined by the type of the relation itself."

A block of code is set as follows:

<osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
  <node id="483034256" lat="55.9458449" lon="-3.2035477" version="1" changeset="2369219" user="spytfyre" uid="166957" visible="true" timestamp="2009-09-04T13:35:42Z">
    <tag k="name" v="The Blue Blazer"/>
    <tag k="amenity" v="pub"/>

When we wish to draw your attention to a particular part of a code block, the relevant lines or items are set in bold:

<osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
  <node id="107775" lat="51.5072647" lon="-0.1278328" version="29" changeset="2628959" user="EdinburghGael" uid="170586" visible="true" timestamp="2009-09-25T23:04:28Z">
    <tag k="place" v="city"/>
    <tag k="name:zh" v="伦敦"/>
    <tag k="name:sv" v="London"/>
    <tag k="name:sk" v="Londýn"/>
    <tag k="is_in" v="England, United Kingdom, UK, Great Britain,
    <tag k="capital" v="yes"/>
    <tag k="name:fr" v="Londres"/>
    <tag k="name:cy" v="Llundain"/>

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

Kosmos.Console.exe bitmapgen compton.kpr compton.png  -mb 51.20868 -0.63794 51.22011 -0.61772 -z 16

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "You can do this by right-clicking on your My Computer icon and selecting Properties."

There are some images that are referred in the chapters but are not actually present in it. Such images can be found along with the code files on the Packt website. The images are referred as follows: "The road's name is Down Lane, which can be seen in the image 121120009090.jpg."


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

Reader feedback

Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about this book—what you liked or may have disliked. Reader feedback is important for us to develop titles that you really get the most out of.

To send us general feedback, simply send an e-mail to , and mention the book title via the subject of your message.

If there is a book that you need and would like to see us publish, please send us a note in the SUGGEST A TITLE form on or e-mail .

If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, see our author guide on

Customer support

Now that you are the proud owner of a Packt book, we have a number of things to help you to get the most from your purchase.


Downloading the example code for this book

You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.


Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in the text or the code—we would be grateful if you would report this to us. By doing so, you can save other readers from frustration and help us improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, please report them by visiting, selecting your book, clicking on the errata submission form link, and entering the details of your errata. Once your errata are verified, your submission will be accepted and the errata will be uploaded on our website, or added to any list of existing errata, under the Errata section of that title. Any existing errata can be viewed by selecting your title from


Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media. At Packt, we take the protection of our copyright and licenses very seriously. If you come across any illegal copies of our works, in any form, on the Internet, please provide us with the location address or website name immediately so that we can pursue a remedy.

Please contact us at with a link to the suspected pirated material.

We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you valuable content.


You can contact us at if you are having a problem with any aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it.