logo separator

Now mkgmap has a real overview map


Earlier today, mkgmap developer Gerd Petermann merged his changes to create a proper overview map into trunk. Update now or go and get version r2636 or later from the download page.

This is an important feature that has been missing from mkgmap for a long time. The overview map exists to display a low resolution map of the whole area of a set of map tiles.

Although there has always been an overview map, as it is essential to displaying in MapSource or BaseCamp, it has been empty apart from the polygons that show the area covered by each tile in the map.

There was another problem: to compensate for the lack of an overview map most map styles, including the default one, contained extra map levels so that the map was still visible when zoomed out to the scale of regions and countries. This extra data made the map slower when scrolling on GPS devices.

So the change has a double benefit; the map is still visible when zoomed out far enough to show whole countries and continents and can also be faster to scroll on GPS

The new enhanced overview map will be automatically generated when creating a map without having to make any changes. There are however a couple of new options to control what happens.

like levels, specifies additional levels that are to be written to the overview map. Counting of the levels should continue. Up to 8 additional levels may be specified, but the lowest usable resolution with MapSource seems to be 11.
If overview-levels is used, mkgmap creates one additional file with the prefix ovm_ for each map (*.img) file. These files are used to create the overview map. With option --remove-ovm-work-files=true the files are removed after the overview map was created. The default is to keep the files.

Further improvements

In addition to the overview map, there is also a slew of improvements and bug fixes that have been added.


There are fixes for maps that cover a large portion of the globe or extend to 180 degrees longitude.

  • fix wrong interpretation of 0x800000 as -180.0 degrees for maxLon
  • fix treatment of very long lines that cross the planet


  • The polygon filter allows larger polygons.
  • SeaGenerator generates fewer "sea-only" and "land-only" polygons when precomp-sea is used.

Both reduce the img size, esp. for maps containing large sea only areas.

An option to better control the minimum size of a polygon that can now be configured per level.

Allows you to specify a different min-size-polygon value for each resolution. For example:
  --polygon-size-limits="24:12, 18:10, 16:8, 14:4, 12:2, 11:0"

If a resolution is not given, mkgmap uses the value for the next higher one. For the given sample, resolutions 19 to 24 will use value 12, resolution 17 and 18 will use 10, and so on. Value 0 means to skip the size filter. Note that in resolution 24 the filter is not used.

Changes regarding styles

  • The support for the obsolete map-features.csv file was removed.
  • Level ranges can now use min-max or max-min
  • There is now an option --check-styles which will flag issues in the style that are known to cause problems.

Other changes

  • A few checks are performed regarding the plausibility of the given options and input files to help beginners.
Posted by steve on 31 May 2013

Latest commits

  • mkgmap-r4565 implement undocumented option --x-keep-empty-value-tags to disable the removal of empty tags while parsing OSM input.
    22 jul 2020
  • mkgmap-r4564 roadspeed_v2.patch by Ticker Berkin.
    21 jul 2020
  • mkgmap-r4563 routeableLines.patch by Ticker Berkin.
    21 jul 2020
  • display-r553 avoid to report sort error for first node of route center.
    11 jul 2020
  • mkgmap-r4562 fix wording in warning message.
    10 jul 2020
See more...