Created: 2012-03-22 04:22
Updated: 2017-09-28 07:56

Map Label Style Manual


When we cannot fit the full, formal name of feature we can often label a shorter version.

For example: "USA" is an abbreviation of "United States of America".

For over 3,000 abbreviations for general map features and roads, and couple thousand city nicknames specifically:

  • name_abbreviations/abbreviations.ods
  • name_abbreviations/abbreviations.tsv
  • name_nicknames/city_nicknames.tsv
  • name_nicknames/city_nicknames.readme


Once we have a collection of long label and shorter fallback label, we need to actually try placing them on the map.

  • geometry_type/
  • geometry_type/
  • geometry_type/
  • geometry_type/

#Type Styles

Use more than one font face, style, size, and color:

  • Tk tk tk


We include several python scripts in the tools directory for implementing the label and abbreviation logic described in this repo.

#Related software projects

  • Dymo - Map point label placer with simulated annealing.
  • Skeletron - Generalizes collections of lines. Useful for 2x carriageway roads (like divided highways or boulevards).
  • Mapnik 2.0 -

#Further reading


By Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso with assists form Mike Migurski.

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