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Rendering OpenStreetMap with Mapnik into Polar-Centric Tiles or Images

This is not the Style you should use to render arbitrary Images. The Style and the supplied Tools are specialized for rendering Polar Regions.

Welcome, if you have Mapnik and osm2pgsql installed and you want to render your own OSM tiles, you've come to the right place.

This is the development location of the Mapnik XML stylesheets powering

This directory also holds an assortment of helpful utility scripts for working with Mapnik and the OSM Mapnik XML stylesheets.

However, the easiest way to start rendering Mapnik tiles is to use the '' script located within this directory.

Quick References

If you need additional info, please read:

If you are new to Mapnik see:


Mapnik >= 2.0.0 | The rendering library

osm2pgsql trunk | Tool for importing OSM data into PostGIS

Coastline Shapefiles

  • Download these locally using ./

Antarctica data in PostGIS


git clone mapnik-stylesheets-polar
cd mapnik-stylesheets-polar
./ --epsg 4326 --extent -180,-90,180,90 --dbname=$USER --prefix ant --accept-none
osm2pgsql --create --cache 1024 --database $USER --prefix ant --latlong antarctica.osm.pbf

# render an image
./ --style osm.xml --bbox -3000000,0,0,3000000 --file top-left --size 500x500

# render tiles
./ --minzoom 1 --maxzoom 4 --threads 4 --style osm.xml

# render tiles around stations, peaks, islands, ... (NOTE: currently only McMurdo is counted as interesting)
./ --minzoom 5 --maxzoom 18 --threads 4 --style osm.xml --only-interesting

# show tiles via view.html

Manually editing 'inc' files

To manually configure your setup you will need to work with the XML snippets in the 'inc' directory which end with 'template'.

Copy them to a new file and strip off the '.template' extension.

cp inc/ inc/
cp inc/ inc/
cp inc/ inc/

Then edit the settings variables (e.g. '%(value)s') in those files to match your configuration. Details can be found in each file. Stick with the recommended defaults unless you know better.


If trying to read the XML with Mapnik (or any of the python scripts included here that use Mapnik) fails with an error like XML document not well formed or Entity 'foo' not defined, then try running xmllint, which may provide a more detailed error to help you find the syntax problem in the XML (or its referenced includes):

xmllint osm.xml --noout

Not output from the above command indicates the stylesheet should be working fine.

If you see an error like: warning: failed to load external entity "inc/" then this likely indicates that an include file is missing, which means that you forgot to follow the steps above to generate the needed includes on the fly either by using or manually creating your inc files.


Rendering OpenStreetMap with Mapnik into Polar-Centric Tiles or Images



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