I'd like to create a map tile server based on the entire OSM planet database for a project I'm working on. I've worked with a couple of guides to try getting something up and running, but haven't found too many comprehensive resources that walk through this process from start to finish.

My requirements so far:

  • Linux-based (I'd prefer 10.04, but am open to anything)
  • Tile rendering using Mapnik
  • The ability to customize the cartography and symbolization to my needs (Quantumnik or Cascadenik seem like good tools for this)

I'd really like to have good custom basemap cartography for some internal apps we're building and I figured this would be a good place to start. Anyone know of any good guides / resources to building this out? I'd prefer step-by-step explanatory stuff, as opposed to just the documentation for each of the components...

3 Answers 3


The following thread may answer your question: How would I draw and visualize custom maps based on OSM data?

It includes info on rolling your own data, tile drawer tools, mapnik, etc. The threads refers to the following link which sounds particularly appropriate to your question: "Build your own OpenStreetMap Server" http://weait.com/content/build-your-own-openstreetmap-server It uses an Ubuntu 10.04 / PostGIS / Mapnik stack.

  • Also, I recommend this tutorial: mapsfromscratch.com, which uses a virtual machine with required software already installed.
    – tcarobruce
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 18:54

This is a really big question. Most of the first parts are described in the very-detailed wiki page http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mapnik. It stops short of TileCache, the likely answer to tile rendering part. Is that enough to go on? I could dredge up some of the files I used to build Tile Drawer.

  • If you have any documentation that goes into how to config the different components to work together, that would definitely help me better understand how the system is designed to work.
    – colemanm
    Commented Aug 25, 2010 at 14:16

Be aware that it will take a really long time to import the entire planet file (on my server after 6 days it still hadn't finished when the power failed). You might want to consider importing a series of smaller planet files (using -a in osm2pgsql).

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