[OSM-talk] Cambridge map

David Earl david at frankieandshadow.com
Tue Jan 30 20:43:21 GMT 2007

If anyone is interested, I have now prepared a Cambridge map for printing
onto A1. It was a tortuous process! I tried various routes, but all of the
ones that went via an image went wrong at some point because of the huge
file sizes (e.g. Photoshop can't read Inkscape's PNGs properly when over a
certain size), and it is mightily slow even with 2Gb of RAM). So in the end
I made a (vector) PDF: run osmarender; convert to EPS using Inkscape (having
set page size to content); hand edit EPS to work round an Inkscape font bug;
import EPS into InDesign (this gives me an easy way to tile the image so I
can test printing here at home); and export as PDF from InDesign.

The PDF file (7Mb) is at
and if anyone wants to pick up the added SVG icons and so on, the
osm-map-features file is there too.

North is at the right just to make it easier to print on portrait paper.

The text is very tiny even when the City is done A1. It's made worse by
inkscape converting street names to paths - if it were still characters in
the PDF, the RIP could print them them more finely when printed. As it is I
had to make the text 50% bigger, and remove the white strokes round the
characters to make it work.

However, of interest is that I amended the osm-map-features file to render
lots of things it didn't - various SVG icons, names that didn't previously
show up and so on (see below).

node: windmill (icon); school (icon+name); pharmacy (ditto); doctors
(ditto); university (ditto - essential for Cambridge!); landuse=retail
(name); supermarket (name); traffic_signals (icon); mini_roundabout (icon);
theatre (icon+name); cinema (ditto); parking (name);
landuse=residential|industrial|commercial (name); post_office (name);
bus_station (icon+name)

area: school (mauve); military (red); allotments(brown);

way: cycleway and footway names (there are many such with names in

I also put cycleways (vital for Cambridge) and footways on top: mainly
because a lot of the detail in these was simply obliterated by junctions.
They do tend to protrude into roads on this rendering, but the overall
rendering was better IMO. I also switched red for green for primary and
trunk, and made post_box a smaller and green green letter icon to
distinguish from PO's and make them less prominent.

I didn't bother with all the name directions, though I did do some of the
more obvious ones. So long as osmarender clips names they're badly messed up
anyway in a way I can't do anything about.


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