I try to mimick a rendering style like in Open Cycle Map (landscape base layer) in QGIS. However, I'm not able to find certain elements (i.e., wood and rivers) that are used in Open Cycle Map but seem to be missing in the extract. Does someone know why this is and how I could procede?


For specification of the issue: I have an extract taken directly from OpenStreetMap (see here) (saved to my dropbox here). And another extract from an API call (http://open.mapquestapi.com/xapi/api/0.6/*[bbox=10.7,47.200,10.875,47.350]), covering about the same area (in fact the one from the API is a bit larger). The extract from OpenStreetMap shows, i.e. feature 199333058 (a large forested area), which I can't find in the extract that comes from the API (I opened the files in Notepad and searched for the ID in both osm-files). Also searching for the feature after opening the API-extract in QGIS was to no evail..

  • Its a simple question but are there any features of those elements existing in your extract? If not there will be nothing to render.
    – FishHead
    Commented Jan 8, 2013 at 9:43

1 Answer 1


Areas are defined in Openstreetmap by

  • closed ways with tags
  • relations of type "multipolygon" built up of ways with inner and outer role
  • relations that consist of other relations carrying those informations.

Its up to the contributor how he does this, and up to the renderer to make the best out of it.

If a relation is not completely in your data extract, it will not be rendered. This happens often at extract borders, if the forest intersects the clipping border. You could try extracts by Geofabrik, which are a bit "over" the borders to avoid such problems.


The way 199333058 you mention above was created on 03.01.2013. The cloudemade extract is probably older, so you will not find the way there, but another with ID 135342467. In both datasets, the forest multipolygon relation 306278 is incomplete, and therefore not rendered correctly. You can load the extracts in JOSM, and download the missing elements to get a renderable dataset.

  • Thanks Andre! However, for the edit I used API-extracts (one from a direct call to open.mapquestapi.com/xapi/api/0.6/, the other from the api at openstreetmap.org. I assumed they both would provide the most actual data, which obviously only does the first mentioned api..
    – Kay
    Commented Jan 9, 2013 at 15:07

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