I'm using Maperitive to render OSM map data of Mexico City as SVG files, destination Illustrator and then print (on paper, in a book).

At different zoom levels, the resulting maps have different levels of text. At zoom=16 it looks like I get everything down to the last little street name, at 13, far fewer labels.

Since we want to print city maps with just the major categories - like names of suburbs - does anyone know what labels are included with the different zoom levels? If I knew that, I could do the maps without the thousands of street names that would be too tiny to read in print. OSM has something on it:


...but not much.

Once I've worked it out, I want to do other maps of other cities, hoping that the same rules apply in all of them.

2 Answers 2


What gets rendered at what level (and what size of font etc.) is defined by the rendering rules in Maperitive (BTW these rules are not compatible with Mapnik's). Usually the rule for, say, town name, covers multiple zoom levels in one go. Example: font-size : 5:10;15:20 means the font will have 10 pixels size up (and including) the zoom level 5 and then it gradually increases to 20 (from level 15 and onwards). Whether something is rendered on a particular zoom level is defined by min-zoom and max-zoom properties.

  • I didn't know I could accept only one answer. Both helped. Feb 8, 2014 at 8:01

Labels, POIs and everything else are defined in the stylesheet of the renderer. There are many different renderers for OpenStreetMap but the layers at openstreetmap.org are usually rendered via Mapnik. The stylesheet used for the standard layer is written in CartoCSS can be found here. The zoom level at which labels for residential roads are drawn is defined in the file roads.mss (currently at line 2374) and applies for all cities of course.

  • Aah. Thanks. I looked in Maperitive's Default.mrules.txt and see lots of, e.g. target: alpine hut > define > min-zoom : 11. Back to the learning curve,,, Feb 2, 2014 at 22:55
  • Oh, I missed that you are asking about Maperitive. It has its own stylesheet of course.
    – scai
    Feb 3, 2014 at 7:56

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