Online services that extend the capabilities of OpenStreetMap

Comparing Maps

Geofabrik is one of the first commercial companies to work with OSM data and offer services such as software development, training, or consulting. In return, the company regularly provides copies of the OSM database for downloading [15]. In addition, Geofabrik also offers various tools, such as Map Compare [16], a tool that allows the direct comparison of up to four maps. If you move the view in one map, Map Compare automatically loads the corresponding area in all the other maps (Figure 12). In addition to various modifications of OSM, you can also choose between Google Maps or Here Maps.

Figure 12: Geofabrik's Map Compare lets you compare up to four maps.


The excellent data material of OSM makes it attractive and relatively easy to set up services the extend OSM capabilities. Many of these services are freely available and compare well with commercial alternatives.

Sometimes it is not necessary or even useful to use preconfigured map services. In many cases, self-made maps provide better results. Open source tools available for Linux like Maperative [17] and QMapShack [18] help you build your own maps.

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