MOATP is a Map Of All The Places on Chicago Cityscape
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Map Of All The Places

MOATP is a workflow for combining geographic data in PostgreSQL and OpenStreetMap into beautiful, customizable, static SVG and PNG maps. If you have a bunch of data in a PostGIS database and want to combine it with OpenStreetMap to create a whole bunch of maps quickly, try it out.

Chicago Cityscape makes neighborhood, property, and construction development data accessible to all.

Chicago Cityscape has interactive maps for over 2,100 "places", neighborhoods, city council districts, ZIP codes, business improvement districts, etc., but had a need for static maps to show the boundaries of each Place, when shared on social media, or in daily notification emails.

MOATP created this static map of the Woodlawn community area in Chicago, Illinois, in a matter of seconds, and continued to create maps for the 76 other community areas.



Recommended (these improve performance):

How to install

Installation tasks to obtain the above dependencies are included for Mac OS X and two flavors of Linux. Clone this repository onto your computer and run one of these commands in the terminal:

make install-osx
sudo make install-ubuntu

Installation notes

The Mac OS X installer assumes you have homebrew (brew).

Both the Mac OS X and Linux installers assume you have pip. If you don't have these available, install them first.

You can check if your machine is ready with this command:

which make && which pip && which brew

On Mac OS X you should see three paths. On Linux, only two, since brew isn't needed.

To test if the required commands are available, use the command make check. It should spit out the versions of ogr2ogr, svgis and convert.


Add a file called .pgpass in this directory. It should have the format:


and 0600 permissions:

chmod 0600 .pgpass

More info about .pgpass files.

Configuration file

Create a file called config.ini with the following information:

PSQL_PROJECTION= [map projection in database]
OUTPUT_PROJECTION= [desired projection of output]

# tables with POLYGON/MULTIPOLYGON geometry
POLYGONS= [space-separated of tables]

# tables with POINT/MULTIPOINT geometry
POINTS= [space-separated of tables]

# Bounding box for OSM data (lng/lat format, comma-separated) (this one's for Chicagoland):
#BBOX = minlat,minlng,maxlat,maxlng
BBOX = 41.36,-88.62,42.59,-87.03

# template files that contain a {{bbox}} place holder
QUERIES= [space-separated of files]

# options for ImageMagick (these can be overridden in the command line)
CONVERTFLAGS = -resize 1200x\>

See config_example.ini for many more options.


To extract the OpenStreetMap data necessary to combine with your GIS, MOATP uses the Overpass API. Overpass queries use a unique and fairly complicated syntax. See the wizard at Overpass Turbo and the documentation for Overpass API language guide for help in writing a query.

MOATP expects queries to return only one type of geometry. See the queries directory for examples that return point, line, and polygon data.

Here's an example query that Chicago Cityscape uses to get certain road classes (you can run this on Overpass Turbo on a part of Chicago to see what data would be grabbed with it):

out body qt;


See style.css for an example stylesheet, which is customized to Chicago Cityscape. It shows only certain classes of roads, parks and park-like spaces, water features, buildings, parking lots, train stations, and transit routes.

The example style classes below show how the roads from the query above would be styled:

 * All roads should default to 1.5 pixels thick, defaults to black
 * This includes "primary" and "secondary roads" 
.roads {
    stroke-width: 1.50px;

 * Motorways (interstates) and trunk highways (Lake Shore Drive) 
 * should be thicker, but less dark 
.highway_motorway, .highway_trunk {
    stroke-width: 4px;
    stroke: #888888;

/* Minor roads should be thinner than the default */
.highway_tertiary {
    stroke-width: 1.00px;

Make the maps

For a review of settings, run make info.

To create all the svg or png files, run:

make svgs
make pngs

If your tables are named communityarea or neighborhoods, create PNGs for one table:

make communityarea

or two tables like:

make communityarea neighborhoods


MOATP was developed by Neil Freeman for Chicago Cityscape.

Copyright 2016, Neil Freeman. Licensed under the GPL. See LICENSE for more.