[OSM-newbies] Missing "How To" instructions - getting a minimal map
akkana at shallowsky.com
Fri Mar 13 03:33:44 GMT 2009
I sent an offline response to Richard, he responded and we decided
it might be better to have some of it on the list, so here goes:
Richard Owlett writes:
> I'm looking for an *outline* map of North America showing national,
> state, and provincial boundaries for U.S. and Canada.
> My particular use is assisting someone else to plot some bird migration
> data. I can see the same outline having use for geography lessons from
> primary school thru college.
> In the past week I've spent >8 fruitless hours browsing
> www.openstreetmap.org and its wiki.
The national and US state boundaries are definitely there in
the OSM data: they aren't drawn in the default "Mapnik" view
on openstreetmap.org, but if you click on the + over at the top
right and choose the Osmarender layer you'll see them.
The trick is displaying them in a nice clean display with all
the rest of the data hidden. And I'm not sure there's any app
that can do that. The big three OSM programs, JOSM, Potlatch
and Merkaartor, are all aimed at editing, not at letting you
turn things off and on to make a nice clean display.
Maybe your best bet is to set up a web-based view using the OSM
databases, and then you can make stylesheets to show only what you
want. But that's a lot of work.
I recently needed something similar to what you're asking for
(a US map with state outlines, for an article illustration).
I ended up getting an SVG image of the US from Wikimedia Commons,
editing it in GIMP to get it down to just the state boundaries,
then overlaying a satellite image (also from Wikimedia Commons)
which I had to adjust with the perspective tool to get it to fit
the projection of the SVG image. Using OSM data would have been
a cleaner solution, but lacking an app that can display data
selectively, using GIMP seemed a lot easier and faster.
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