Bus Routes Rendering


A map showing bus routes in London. This is a rendering of raw vector data from OpenStreetMap, highlighting bus routes. It is NOT done as a overlay using javascript, but rather the data is "baked in" to the tile images of the map, rendered at several zoom levels using Mapnik software. The OpenStreetMap bus routes data has some routes missing, but it does provide the routes associated to the actual roads, rather than just connecting bus stops.

blog post 'Bus route rendering at RewiredState' has more details

Ideas for taking this project forward

On the day I got half way through a process of bringing in TfL bus routes data. By showing this alongside OpenStreetMap bus routes, I hope to spur the London OpenStreetMap community to finish off mapping all the routes in full. I have done the groundwork for this while developing a transport api and mobile app for placr.co.uk.

OpenStreetMap bus stop data is largely based on a government NAPTAN dataset, but this should be improved for accuracy using OpenStreetMap tools, so I'd like to make the rendering highlight progress with this.

Various other improvements:

The label rendering gets overwritten on roads with several bus routes.

The rendering can be expanded even to worldwide coverage given the right tileserver configuration (using ModTile for on-demand rendering)

The rendering should be deployed to a server to allow regular updating from OpenStreetMap (currently just one-off rendered on my laptop)

Estimated costs for taking this project forward

£0 if I do it in my free time

If someone wants it faster, I can be contracted to work on this stuff.

About the data used for this project

You can download raw OpenStreetMap vector data for the entire planet. In fact I took an england extract in PBF format offered up by geofabrik. From this I extracted just chopped out the London area (this bounding box) using the tool “osmosis”

Project URL:


Twitter: @harry_wood

Created at

National Hack the Government Day 2011

Flickr Photos

Bus Routes Rendering

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