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I am trying to render the MapQuest Open style at zoom level 3 for the whole world using Mapnik, at a higher resolution than available online.

I have downloaded mapnik, and the MapQuest Open style. However, downloading the planet.osm and importing data into postgis is beyond my capacity and seems unnecessary for such a low zoom level. All I really need is place names, borders and land cover data. I have downloaded some shapefiles containing some of this data, however I do not know how I would import this into postgis or how to use these with the MapQuest Mapnik Style.

Is it possible to render a very low zoom level map of the world with mapnik without downloading large amounts of data? If so what is the easiest way to go about this?

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Mapnik uses a coastline shapefile extracted from Openstreetmap data and some shapefiles from Natural Earth for low zoom levels.

If you have downloaded the whole Mapnik toolchain, you will already have those. You still have to tweak the Mapnik style to render them in higher zoom levels.

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