I'm looking for a qml file (or equivalent e.g. sld) to allow me to use QGIS to take OpenStreetMap data and produce paper maps. I'm re-asking this question (it was asked once or twice over a couple of years by other people) because I'm really surprised not to easily find such a thing already (I looked hard).

I have found Anita Graser's styles - which are good, but only style basic data like roads (and do so simply). I've successfully followed the directions for getting OSM data to work with. I've carried out some basic style editing successfully. I realise I could create my own styles for this purpose - but this seems like a very big job. I want a visually pleasing map taking into account most of the data available on OSM (i.e. not just streets, but tracks, paths, rivers, woods, lakes, buildings and so on). I'd have thought that there would be other people out there already doing the same... It seems odd to have to re-invent the wheel when both OSM and QGIS are open source / open data projects. I feel like maybe I've just missed the obvious repository of OSM qml files which resides out there on the internet somewhere if you know where to look.

Additional notes in response to query below...

Ideally I'm looking for a Mapnik style rendering of the OSM data, but any equivalent properly developed and complete style would be good.

At the moment the objective is to use this data to produce paper mapping, but simple use of the mapping as base data on which other geographic data can be displayed also requires a decent rendering. At work I use Ordnance Survey data completely styled to produce a full and very detailed UK map (the point being that I didn't have to design this styling, it came with the data). I realise that other tools exist for paper mapping, but the same issues tend to arise at one stage or another... I'm more or less successful in making the tool work for me in really basic terms, but to get to something visually useful I end up back with me either needing to re-invent a complete rendering style from scratch (beyond my skill), or encountering such a complex set of requirements for database setups or whatever that the process crashes and burns before I get anywhere useful. With a few more years of GIS experience I'll maybe be a database, CartoCSS (or whatever else) wizz... but until then I'm prevented from using the amazing resource that OSM provides by this one barrier.

Update (July 2015): Please note that I'm still looking for information on this, and given that I've just been informed that the question has had 2500 views in the last year clearly others are too.

  • There was an interesting thread on this topic on the Developer list that included links to QML files. See osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Styling-OSM-data-td5102503.html
    – nhopton
    Mar 19, 2014 at 9:31
  • An interesting lead - at least confirming I'm not alone in this puzzle. At first glance no proper (full) QML files obviously available although some in-depth reading required when I have time. Mar 19, 2014 at 10:12
  • What kind of style are you looking for (scenario)? How do you use OSM data with QGIS (db, shape, xml, ...)?
    – Mapper
    Mar 21, 2014 at 21:34
  • Additional notes added in original question Mar 24, 2014 at 21:14
  • The link from @nhopton does lead to a basic workable set of qml files. Thanks to those involved with this it puts me much further forward than I was - these are adequate for my current limited purposes. The limitations, at least at my stage of learning, are that these style Geofabrik downloads... which result in very limited layering (e.g. water below roads, even if road in a tunnel). I've also needed to put in some work to add missing features (e.g. footways). Still hoping someone may have a more complete solution. Apr 13, 2014 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


Looks like you found something to work with in the end and I hope by now you have a solution. I recently had a similar issue to yourself so I set about creating my own QML styles for OSM Shapefiles. You can find them on my github here:



Not sure if you seen this link before but perhaps it might be of some use as it contains several style files for various types of features:

QGIS stylesheets for OpenStreetMap

Or click here to directly download the style files.


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