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Re: [Maposmatic-dev] [OSM-talk] [HOT] Fw: Disaster Preparedness Project

From: Graham Jones
Subject: Re: [Maposmatic-dev] [OSM-talk] [HOT] Fw: Disaster Preparedness Project
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 07:43:03 +0100

I have something which is probably 80% of the way to what you want - I developed a little program to produce paper maps in parallel with maposmatic ( - I did not know we were working on such similar programs.

Because they were developed in silos, the code is completely different - My townguide program uses a PDF generator library (reportlabs) where you specify the layout of the page, then put content into it.   This meant I could define different page layouts (fairly) easily - I started with a 'poster' idea which is shown in the wiki page above - this is very similar to maposmatic, but townguide will highlight points of interest for you and include them in a key on the page.

The other page layout I always intended to develop was a booklet, which I think is what you are asking for - This has not been developed too well, but it works as a proof of concept at the moment - see the example at:

The obvious things that need sorting are the map image resolution to make it look nice on paper, and the size of the individual page map tiles.    I produced this with the 'version 1' of townguide.  There is a version 2 in preparation (very slowly) that includes more customisation options and improved output resolution as a result of work done in last year's Google Summer of Code - things like adding GPX traces over the map.   The code is all at I have a wiki page there which provides installation instructions which should work for version 1 - there are some more dependencies required for version 2.

I am afraid the demonstration web service that I used to have running is not working at the moment - I switched it off when xapi became so unreliable, and I have not re-built it after a little disk crash - it could easily be set up again to work with the new jxapi service if people are interested in it.

You are very welcome to develop it if you want - I am willing to help get it up to a more 'production' quality - but struggle to spend too much time on it, which is why development has been so slow.



On 8 June 2011 03:28, Samuel Mandell <address@hidden> wrote:
It sounds like there could be a lot of demand for the ability to generate these map booklets.
Thomas - are there any updates on this effort from the MapOSMatic side of things?
I am working with a group of designers on the disaster prepardness project so we can definitely contribute design resources.

On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 3:08 AM, Jean-Guilhem Cailton <address@hidden> wrote:

After the recent flood in Haut-Richelieu, Québec, and the request to use MapOSMatic in this context, it happens that I met Thomas, one of the developers of MapOSMatic.

When I had asked about this functionality of map booklet, he had told me that they had started working on this (or on features that would make this easier, I don't remember exactly) during the Hackfest last August.

Maybe coordinating efforts on this would be the best way to move forward?

By the way, he also told me that he had sent an email reply, that apparently was moderated on lists he is not a member of, and that I have not seen. He explained that there was still a lag in the database updates (after the MapOSMatic database had been down).
About the mapping of a specific area defined by a relation (not necessarily a city), it might be not be too far from what is done with administrative boundary ways, but would require a mean to transmit or specify the desired area.

Anyway Samuel, I invite you to have a look at if you have not already (there seems to be a problem at the moment with a job over Berlin, hopefully not for long).

Best regards,


Le 07/06/2011 08:51, Samuel Mandell a écrit :
Essentially what I'm looking for is the ability to produce a Thomas-Guide style maps book where a city is broken into printable pages (e.g. A6) and at the back would be an index of streets with corresponding page and x/y axis information. 

As mentioned before it would be ideal if this could be automated so that all it would need is a city and it would produce the pages. Anybody interested in helping create such a system? 


On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 4:10 PM, Dane Springmeyer <address@hidden> wrote:

It seems to me like rendering the actual pages would be easier (than actually rendering a large image, then chopping). This should also give better results because the scales of things like text and lines would look better.

So, the way I would approach this would be to determine the size and extents of each map for each page (ideally automatically). Then render each one with Mapnik. So, your ingredients would be a width and height in pixels, and bounding box for each page. Then write a python script to loop over every page and render a map using an OSM stylesheet.

If you don't have python scripts skills then we can think of alternatives, but that would be my first recommendation. Mike Migurski, also author of safety maps, has done this with Mapnik for printed bike maps of SF, so he could likely advise.

On Jun 6, 2011, at 3:03 PM, Mikel Maron wrote:

Folks, what did we have in place to produce map books?

Making mapbooks easier to script, via python, with Mapnik has long been a goal of mine. 

But I've not really gotten past proof of concept. One usecase is making a map of every "feature" in a dataset that meets some criteria. I wrote a script a while ago that demonstrates how to do that with mapnik by querying all countries over a given population and them rendering a map for each, while painting a special outline over their border. Code is here: and an animated gif to demonstrate what is done is here:

Can Mapsomatic easily be modified for different formats/scales?

It can be done but I've found that hacking around in MapOsMatic requires a lot of patience and pretty high python/cairo skill level. was a recent project to do something similar. I know the developers would be interested to hear more ideas how to make it useful.

safety-maps are awesome.

== Mikel Maron ==
+14152835207 @mikel s:mikelmaron

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Richard Weait <address@hidden>
To: Samuel Mandell <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden
Sent: Mon, June 6, 2011 4:16:08 PM
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Disaster Preparedness Project

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 8:12 PM, Samuel Mandell <address@hidden> wrote:
> I'm designing a project whose goal is to prepare folks in my community for
> disasters. An essential part of any disaster kit are maps of the local area
> so that when electricity has gone out people can still navigate to specific
> areas of the city (for instance to get supplies or medical help).
> OpenStreetMap has comprehensive map data for my area (the San Francisco Bay
> Area) and I'd like to use the mapping data to create maps for the various
> cities to hand-out to residents. Since I'd need detailed (1:4800) of an
> entire city I haven't been able to use the export tool since it seems to
> have some built in limits to how large of an image it will generate (which
> makes sense). For Mountain View, CA the image size we'd want to generate is
> around 9409 x 11310 with a 1:4800 scale, in other words, very large. We
> would then cut this into smaller squares and print it out in a booklet with
> attribution to OpenStreetMap for the data and visuals.
> What's the best way for us to generate these detailed maps of the various
> cities?

Well that sounds awesome.

You might try downloading an extract of OSM data for that area.  You
should be able to find an extract that deals with California, or the
US West.  That way you don't have to deal with an entire planet full
of data.  Then use Mapnik or one of the other rendering tools to
generate your map.  You'll likely want to adjust the style sheet to
make it just right for emergency awareness.

There is a company in SF area experienced in printing high resolution
maps from OSM data. Perhaps they'll do it for you for free since it is
such a worthy project?

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Graham Jones
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