[Theme] OS Map

Started by karlchick, May 29, 2020, 17:45:48

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The OS Map theme tries to emulate the Ordnance Survey 1:25k and 1:50k map styles as closely as is possible within the constraints of Locus Map and data provided by the vector maps. It should work with both LoMap and OAM maps (v3 and v4). I must give credit to John Campbell for his Voluntary UK theme that I used as a starting point (v. 190101).

The OS Map theme also provides a darker variation of OS style of map designed for use at night-time to help avoid spoiling night-vision whilst keeping a recognizably Ordnance Survey style of map.

The theme now consists of four main theme files, day/night for v3 maps and day/night for v4 maps. There are two PDF map legends, one for day and one night.

Here is a comparison of the same map rendered with: Internal Theme, Voluntary UK, OS Style and my new 4 OS map styles:


Here are the list of all the changes made for each release:

Initial release for v3 maps only

Added v4 map support
Added option to highlight toll roads (default is not highlighted). Highlight means orange outline and orange dots as you zoom in.
Added option to set OS style roads names (pathtext) for countires that are left hand traffic or right hand traffic. This is only applicable to dual carriage ways.
Added drawing of footpaths and bridleways that are on dashed track/service roads.
Added thicker dashed 1:50k style for airport runways (was using thinner 1:25k for 1:50k before)
Added defibrillator symbol (non OS symbols)
Added OS text symbols for: Libraries, Shelters, Cairns, Caves, Adits [Mines, Mines (dis)], Waterfalls (Falls in blue)
Added library buildings to list of important building, i.e bolder outlines.
Added place markers for towns/cities (similar to Elevate theme) at low zoom levels (e.g. 5-7).
Added support for sizing of town/city names based on population density (popcat)
Changed borders (admin_level) to improve support for non-UK counties by grouping togther Parishes=9/10, Districts=7/8, Counties=5/6, National=2/3/4
Changed pharmacy amenity symbol to also include chemist shops (non OS symbols).
Changed order of options, putting least changed options towards bottom of list.
Changed embankments to draw at a higher level priority to avoid them being overdrawn by water ways and residential areas.
Changed footbridges to draw at a higher level priority to avoid them being overdrawn by water ways.
Changed tunnels to use smaller dashes for better match OS map style.
Changed 1:50k trunk_link and motorway_link roads to use correct/matching outline widths on bridges.
Changed highway labels at zoom levels 7-12 to use captions instead of pathtext for OS labels
Changed priorities of several symbols to improve visibility of churches, information and museums at lower zoom levels.
Changed car parks at lower zoom levels (upto zoom 15) to only show ~|destination|customers|public car parks.
Changed hill name sizes slightly larger
Changed (corrected) selection of national hiking routes to only include iwn|nwn, i.e. remove rwn|lwn|uwn.
Changed (corrected) selection of national cycling routes to only include icn|ncn, i.e. remove rcn|lcn|ucn.
Changed (corrected) wells so they now get displayed.
Changed doctors captions from red to black text.
Changed v3 theme place names to match/harmonise to style used on v4 theme.
Removed tourism brown dashed ways accidentally left in from donor theme (UK Voluntary)
Removed access cross hatchings on footpaths accidentally left in from donor theme (UK Voluntary)
Removed surface dashes on 'white' roads accidentally left in from donor theme (UK Voluntary) - If this is going to be in the theme then I need to think about how to do it in an OS style way...

Fixed validation errors (one was a real issue in V4 theme for railway stations at zoom 13, rest were technical errors but not impacting display of maps).

Split v3 and v4 theme files into separate day and night theme files so they can have different map=background tags, different PDF legends and increase performance.
Added night mode symbols for transmitters, windmills, wind turbines, lighthouses, ruins/archaeological, battlefields, telephones, helipads, bollards.
Added night mode PDF legend.
Added four .lnk files to map the two PDF legends to relevant four theme files.
Changed priority of cemetery symbol lower than church symbol.
Changed night mode track core colour to match service/residential roads.
Changed night mode tunnels to use own night equivalent of day tunnel colours.
Changed night mode steps to look similar to day time steps and less like a ladder.
Changed night mode turning circles and passing places to be more visible.
Changed area ways for residential roads to match residential road outlines for all map themes.
Changed AED, playground and shooting symbols to remove white outline/background to match other symbols.
Changed 50k toilet symbol to fix errors in tiny-svg rendering.

Added cycle lanes and cycle tracks with display option "cycle lanes/tracks".
Added option to hide hiking route diamonds.
Added option to hide cycling route circles.
Changed emphasise hiking routes to highlight routes with route label from zoom level 7 to 14, 15 upwards as before.
Changed emphasise cycling routes to highlight routes with route label from zoom level 7 to 14, 15 upwards as before.
Changed emphasise hiking routes highlight colours, green for national and yellow for local.
Changed emphasise cycling routes highlight colours, red for national and blue for local.
Changed (renamed) option "left/right hand traffic road labels" to "drive on the left/right side" as this option now also affects oneway cycle lanes/tracks.

Added captions for beaches, mud flats and sand banks.
Added captions for fells.
Added customer and private parking symbols.
Added cutlines (in woods/forests)
Added ditches that are barriers.
Added earth banks using typical OS slope pattern.
Added emphasise cycle lanes/tracks options using purple highlight colour.
Added gullies, rendered as OS cutting pattern.
Added hedges as a non-os option.
Added military bunkers (active and dis-used) symbols.
Added post boxes with red circle for left hand traffic and yellow square for right hand traffic - symbols to match the typical post box shape/colour used in LHT/RHT countries.
Added public artwork symbol.
Added town hall as an important building (bolder outline of building).
Added town hall symbol.
Changed abandoned/disused railways to render before rivers.
Changed climbing symbol to be larger.
Changed embankments for footpaths to be narrower.
Changed grade1 tracks to be thinner and matching the rest of the tracks.
Changed many railway/highway tunnels to render as transparent dashed outlines.
Changed OS 50k cycleways (single black dashes) to appear sooner from Z14.
Changed piers and walls to render after waterways to avoid being hidden by waterway areas.
Changed tidalflats that are hidden under water areas to be visible.
Changed waterways (in a major way), now they are all rendered as casings first and then as cores to avoid blue lines where they join.
Removed erroneous rendering of "water_park" as water, this was an incorrect understanding of its purpose (thanks John Percy for the hint).

Added "dash unsealed roads" overlay option to give unsealed roads a dashed outline/casing.
Added "road surface/grade textures" overlay option to give unsealed roads a texture pattern that represents the type of surface, from Z14 onwards.
Added "emphasise road surface/grade textures" overlay option to highlight roads surfaces at lower zoom levels, from Z12 onwards.

From v20210216  onwards the theme now supports road surfaces and sealed/unsealed roads:

The theme ZIP files and PDF legends are too large to attached to this post (limit of 2MB) so, I am now releasing everything via a shared google drive folder:

    OS Map Theme Releases

Link to latest release:

    OS Map v20210216.zip

Links to the latest OS Map Legends:

    OS Map Day Legend
    OS Map Night Legend

Install in the usual way of unzipping in Locus Map's _theme folder, e.g.:


If you have already started using the earlier OS Map theme version then you probably should delete it before installing this updated version as it uses the same theme folder called "OS Map" but now uses four different named theme files - to cover day/night themes for v3/v4 maps.

Note that the legends are now included in the theme and can now be viewed directly from the theme menu in LM 3.46+ via a long press of the theme icon, see attached screenshot.
Author of the OS Map theme.


I have installed the recent theme update, after adviced  deletion of the 1st version. It works fine as far as I can tell for V4 maps.

But when I long tap the OS Map V4 theme icon in the theme list of LM4 beta and press validate, it shows a list of missing files in os_res/SVG and os_res/patterns subfolders.

Missing theme files often lead to a tile drawing failure, if it happens there is a POI or  pattern with such a missing file.

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Quote from: poutnikl on May 30, 2020, 17:30:24But when I long tap the OS Map V4 theme icon in the theme list of LM4 beta and press validate, it shows a list of missing files in os_res/SVG and os_res/patterns subfolders.

Missing theme files often lead to a tile drawing failure, if it happens there is a POI or  pattern with such a missing file.
Thanks for heads up, I didn't know you can validate a theme like that.
Note that I have now fixed all the validation errors in release v20200530 onwards.
Author of the OS Map theme.


Looks very good. I'm impressed. I did some work on an OS emulation and I recognise the work it takes!

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Voluntary and Velocity themes - https://voluntary.nichesite.org
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New release now available v20200607.

i have updated the first post with the latest release notes and links. I'm now using google drive to release the theme in a shared folder that contains all the releases and the PDF legends.

Mainly improvements for the night themes, additional of a night map legend and a major change of splitting the themes into four theme files:

  • OS Map V3 Day
  • OS Map V3 Night
  • OS Map V4 Day
  • OS Map V4 Night
This supports using different PDF legends and different "map-background" tag values for day/night themes.

Attached is the new OS Map Night Legend for  reference, seems the 2MB attachment limit is per post.

i would be interested in feedback on the PDF legends in use out in the field... are they usable/readable..? I find I have to zoom in and scroll about to read them. I thought about creating very long thin legend that fills the screen width with something easier to read (larger graphics/text) and only requires scrolling up/down... but would require a lot of scrolling to get towards the bottom...
Author of the OS Map theme.


Question for current users of this theme. By default the theme comes with all the optional non OS extras deselected, i.e. :
   - highlight toll roads
   - non OS symbols
   - non OS road furniture

this is so the theme provides a standard OS look and feel by default, however, I always re-select these options, but I have to do it for each style/card in each theme file, this is a total of 3*4 = 12 places it they have to changed, which is 36 check boxes in total. I know it is a set and forget one time operation, unless the theme's xml files gets renamed (which they did in the last few updates...).

Q1: Do you think I should set the non-OS optional layers as selected by default?
i.e. you have to opt out of the extra symbols rather than opt in.

Q2: I am wondering if you would like to have the option of downloading one of two preset theme zips, one set up for LHT (Left handed traffic countries) and the other one for RHT (right handed traffic countries)?
currently affects only the labelling of dual carriage way roads.
Author of the OS Map theme.

Žajdlík Josef

Would it still be possible to adjust the display of special cycle paths? I enclose a comparison of views in the topic of PAWS and OS Map. With OS Map, the bike path is not visible at all until the scale changes. At the same time, this is one of the most important data for cycling.


E.g. for V4 maps and Elevate/Cycling theme, international cycle routes are are at zoom levels 7(8 for national) -11 even more prominent than motorways, for zooms 12+ they are comparable.

OTOH, I understand the OS MAP theme is the theme for mimicking OS MAP, with the added value to display cycle routes, so not really a cycling focused theme.

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Good point about the highlighting of cycle routes (and hiking routes). There is the layer option to highlight (emphasise) the hiking and cycling routes, but I see that it is not as effective as Elevate theme.

I think the existing highlight colours used in OS map theme are a bit difficult to see, see attached for comparison (note this includes a quick hack to make cycle path highlight appear from zoom level 7)

This highlighting is already a non-OS add on, so I see no reason not to change/customise it to be more useful.

I like the way elevate works for highlighting routes, although find the number of colours used a little confusing (needs a PDF legend, hint hint).

I'm thinking of highlighting using just four different colours for both hiking and cycling routes from earliest zoom possible, i.e. the following:
   - national cycle routes (icn|ncn)     --> Red to match OS symbol colour
   - local cycle routes (rcn|lcn|ucn)    --> Blue to match OS symbol colour
   - national hiking routes (iwn|nwn|rwn)   --> Yellow/Orange to match UK route markers...?
   - local hiking routes (lwn|uwn)                --> Green???

These are the groupings already used to match the OS map definitions of national/local routes in the UK.
Author of the OS Map theme.


Displaying routes from the earliest zooms possible has the opposite problems. The regional + local route network can have such a density, that strong solid colours may visually hide the map by a cobweb of cycle routes.

You may have noticed from my screenshots, also refering to my prior Elevate them communication with @John Percy  + few posts on OAM forum, that I use a modded Elevate theme for V3+V4 maps.

1/ It does not use original thick solid colours  for regional/local routes for zoom (Z12-13 for V3, Z10-13 for V4), but replaces them by transparent colours and thinner lines, extrapolating it from Z14+ with emphasised route displaying. ( Rather a quick and dirty theme reverse engineering attempt, but it works.)

2/ For V4 maps, it borrows with John's permission the route inline tagging from the Voluntary UK theme, as Elevate theme has difficulties to display the inline route tags dense enough for V4 maps.

3/ For V4 maps, I turned ON the tagging since zoom 10, as Voluntary had it originally from Z15, what is too late. John brought it later to Voluntary UK for Z12or13 after my objection, as route tagging is very important for distinguishing the routes.

I have added screenshots at Z10 + Z13, for the original + modded Elevate V4  theme ( Sorry for inferior Tapatalk downsizing ), plus   zipped modded Elevate theme xml file

Note that majority of hiking themes are not well usable in Czech Republic, as our superior waymarking system uses explicit waymarking colours red(long distance) , yellow, green, blue, mapped by OSMC tagging.  It would be great, if the OSMC tagging could overrule the general OS Map hiking route colours,

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Congrats, this one is a beauty, will use it and see how it works out.
Tapiola MFV4+ theme for OAM Maps:
Discuss - Download


Thanks for positive feedback everyone.

Just a quick note to that that I am currently working on improving cycle and hike highlighting of routes and am also considering adding in cycle lanes for roads (under non-OS road furniture layer).

Progress has current slowed down because I am very busy at work at the moment... I got the improved cycle route highlights working up to zoom level 7 for v3 maps. will need porting to v4.

I will also use be using two colours to highlight the difference between national/local cycle/hiking routes. I'm not going to split into interational/national/regional/urban/local colours for each as it is hard enough to find 4 highlight colours that work with the OS colour scheme!

Author of the OS Map theme.
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Hey, in the OS Map Day, there is a lot of FM - what is it, can we get rid of it? See attachment, map is OAM, Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Tapiola MFV4+ theme for OAM Maps:
Discuss - Download


Fm is the OS abbreviation for Farm

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Voluntary and Velocity themes - https://voluntary.nichesite.org


Quote from: tapio on October 20, 2020, 14:24:26
Hey, in the OS Map Day, there is a lot of FM - what is it, can we get rid of it?
Hi Tapio, as John replied, the FM is the OS map symbol/abbreviation used to denote a Farm. There are many other abbreviations used on the OS map to denote many different things. They are all listed in the OS MAp Day Legend.pdf linked in the first post:

   OS Map Day Legend

Attached is a screenshot of the abbreviation section.

So in answer to the question, no I don't think we should remove the Fm's (or the other abbreviations) as they are part of the OS map format.

If you really wanted to remove any of the maps symbols, then you could replace the corresponding SVG file with an empty SVG file I suppose, this would make them invisible on the displayed map theme then...
Author of the OS Map theme.