I would like to make a fully custom map (fictional, have to start from scratch basically) and use the OSM tools to make following things possible:

  • crowd editing - the source data which is used to generate the tiles (and in the end a large continuous map) will be publicly available, anyone can make a change to it (I don't require a nice web interface like OSM has, simple github repository will suffice)
  • custom rendering - I know that this is possible using custom tiles and such so this shouldn't be an issue.

Before I dive into this I would like to know if this is possible. I think tools like JOSM should be good enough for drawing the maps, then I can define my own tiles and use one of the rendering tools to display the map.

Are there any pitfalls I'm missing? Or maybe a better way to achieve this?

  • possible duplicate of gis.stackexchange.com/questions/452/…
    – Vanuan
    Jan 9, 2013 at 19:29
  • Don't worry, I searched around.I don't think that is a duplicate - I want to only use the OSM infrastructure - data formats, editing tools, renders etc., not any data they have. I'm starting from scratch with a blank map.
    – lacop
    Jan 9, 2013 at 19:49
  • So skip "downloading" step.
    – Vanuan
    Jan 10, 2013 at 8:12
  • Well, yes... I was just worried there would be some problems along the way, or maybe there was a better way to do this. Anyway, I've been playing with JOSM for a while, tracing some images and creating the layers and it seems it'll work.
    – lacop
    Jan 10, 2013 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


I think kicking off the API database server is not a good idea. JOSM relies on versioning of the elements, with username and changeset number. It stores new elements with negative ID, until they are approved by the server. On the other hand, tools like the Qgis Openstreetmap plugin (and maybe osm2pgsql) don't like those negative IDs given by JOSM. And if several users will contribute, it is necessary to set unique IDs for newly created elements.

Also think of nodes in ways, which may be deleted by other users, but the way should remain...

  • You can setup the local OSM server and make JOSM work with it
    – Vanuan
    Jan 11, 2013 at 8:15
  • No, you have to distinguish between the rendering server and the server for data upload. The rendering server (with Postgis) uses points, lines and polygons, as known by Mapnik. The data server (the API) uses nodes, ways and relations, does the versioning and rejects uplaods when someone else has changed the data in the meantime.
    – AndreJ
    Jan 11, 2013 at 8:30

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