I've just stumbled across OpenStreetMap France and was amazed to find that it has 2 extra zoom levels, 19 and 20, whereas OpenStreetMap only goes up to 18.

In our application we display potentially masses of geographic data over the top of basemaps. We use Ordnance Survey and OpenStreetMap. The Ordnance Survey mapping we use we can render off at higher zoom levels, which will (once we've upgraded our GeoServer) allow our application to zoom closer and see greater details in the overlaid data. But by default we use OpenStreetMap as it is quicker, looks better (especially far zoomed out) and we like trying to get people to use OSM. Sadly this means we can only go to zoom level 18 (unless I do the OpenLayers thing to 'force' it to zoom in which drops the resolution).

However, if we were to use OSM France we could get those extra zoom levels, and as far as I can see it is (almost) as quick and doesn't appear to have any language diffrences (apart from London being displayed as Londres, which I am not concerned about as we are based in Dorset).

I guess my question is twofold.

1 - Can anyone think of a good reason for me not to use OSM France

2 - Why doesn't standard OSM have these two extra zooms (capacity?) and will they ever?

  • osm fr have rendered 2 more zoom levels example level 20 a.tile.openstreetmap.fr/osmfr/20/519065/351744.png where osm.org only go to 18 a.tile.openstreetmap.org/18/129948/84420.png
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:10
  • 1
    So take the OSM data and create 2 (or more) zoom levels but at that scale you will need a huge amount of space to keep all the tiles.
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:11
  • or add a 'tile switch' when users get to level 19 to osm.fr this should be straight forward.
    – Mapperz
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 16:12
  • Update: As of today (July 2016) the main OSM style renders zoom level 19, meaning the OSMFR style is only one extra zoom level. Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 8:02

2 Answers 2


I'm behind osm-fr tiles...

I confirm that there is some changes in the style, compared to OSM cartocss translation while retaining the well known OSM default "teletubbies" color scheme.

I've added zoom 19 and 20 to be able to view more details.

The tilemill project I'm using to generate my mapnik XML config file is available at: https://github.com/cquest/osmfr-cartocss

You can reuse it and change the default language from "fr" to "en" if you prefer.

This project also includes a different approach for lowzoom (0-7), which can been tested here: http://tile.openstreetmap.fr/?zoom=6&lat=49.23469&lon=1.7097&layers=0000B0FFF

We have no tile usage policy defined so far, so be nice with our server ;)

Last point, osm data are updated/expired worldwide with minute diffs on the osm-fr style. On the lowzoom test, tiles are not expired (it is only there to test the stylesheet).

If you have any question: cquest at openstreetmap dot fr

  • Wonderful, and good work! I only plan on using it for zoom 19 and 20 and its in an application that doesn't get masses of traffic so it should be kind on your server. Currently it's still only deployed in our development environment until we get our own WMS serving up these zoom levels. Thanks again. Commented Aug 21, 2013 at 8:06

1) It doesn't seem quite as fast and has some slight differences in cartography, but basically go for it, I guess.

2) Here's the thread from earlier this year on OSM-talk where z19 came up: http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2013-January/065814.html

Reading through, it seems like people think it's feasible. I think one stumbling block is switching the main OSM tiles to cartocss, which is in process. Once that's complete, maybe? if you really want an answer, I'd try the OSM-Dev list.

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