Printing OpenstreetMaps

Hopefully, at this stage you have practiced OpenStreetMap data collection.  The next stage for map production is to learn how to print OSM maps. There are several ways you can print a map of OpenStreetMap.  They are all quite easy and involve no software installation. You simply pop online and connect to websites, such as Walking Papers, Field Papers, and/or MapOSMatic.

I. MapOSMatic

This website will produce a map of the area you desire, as well as optionally create guidelines and/or an index for street names or a locational feature of your choice. To use this web application, head to the website ( and create a folder. 

Hopefully, you will have a screen similar to this one.  Now, to generate your own map for downloading, printing or embedding in a website or document, you must follow six steps.

1. Determine Location and Scale

You are given two options for selecting your map area:  Downloading the Administrative Boundary or downloading what you select in the Bounding Box. If it is difficult to manually select the area you are better off choosing the Administrative Boundary and typing in the desired location. If it is easier for you to zoom to the area you would like to map then select the Bounding Box.

 To use the Bounding Box option, hold down the CTL key and drag your mouse. Click the blue arrow to the next stage.


2. Title

One of the most important elements in a map is the title. Usually it is necessary to include the name of the location mapped, the date and any possibly themes that the map shows. For example, “Incidents of Crime in Epicentrum, Jakarta, November 2011”.


3. Layout

Maps should be easy to understand, especially for people that are not familiar with the area. A well placed layout can ease the flow of a map. The bare minimum elements that are always necessary for a good map include a title, map legend, scale and inset map if the area is small scale or not globally recognized. Optional elements include gridlines, a compass (MapOSMatic maps are automatically created North facing), and a scale. If you are lazy or satisfied with the default settings you can click the arrow and head to the next page.


4. Stylesheet

5. Papersize

Paper size can be tailored to the area you are mapping.


6. Language

You can choose the language you want to use.

7. Summary

You have complete the map creation process and should see a screen that summarizes the map. When you click next the software will process your map.

 The rendering, or creation, of the map takes a while– sometimes up to 15 minutes. Once you see a screen that resembles the one below then the process of mapping has been completed. You can save the map as png and pdf.


II. Field Paper

Another simple tool for printing OpenStreetMap is FieldPapers, which is similar to the Walking Papers. Field Papers allows you to section and divide the map onto multiple pieces of paper at the same size and scale. Furthermore, unlike MapOSMatic, you can print an OpenStreetMap (Mapric) and imagery map.

1.  Make sure you are connected to the internet and open Your screen should appear like this:


2. Choose the MAKE button and specify the desired location. For example, Kupang, Indonesia.


3.  Next you will be taken to the layout screen, where you can choose the size and divisions you want to print. You are also able to select an imagery background, with or without OpenStreetMap. Lastly, you can choose if you want a landscape or portrait form.

There are some symbols that you can click on to change the map selection:

  • (-) sign: reduce the number of maps to be printed
  • (+) sign: add the number of maps to be printed
  • mark on the top left corner: shift the area that we want to print
  • mark the lower right corner: pushes the selected area in and out


Once you are set, click NEXT and enter a title for your map.


Then, choose a suitable layout for your map:

1. Folder = Only if you just want to bring up the map alone.

2. Map + Notes = current printing process that will emerge in the form of maps and space. Where the space can be used as a note at the time of the survey in the field.


You have completed all of the steps to make a FieldPapers map. When you click FINISH the map will automatically be processed. Maps can be saved as pdfs.

Dewi Sulistioningrum
Dewi Sulistioningrum
I graduated from Geography Department at the University of Indonesia. I like mapping, travelling and watching movies. I am very eager to join as Trainer of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Indonesia.

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