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English OSM book finally available… at some booksellers

14.10.2010 | Frederik Ramm

Today we finally received our author’s copies of our brand-new English OSM book. Old news, you might say; after all, this was featured on a month ago. But it took a while for the books to reach us here at Geofabrik — we’ve been told that the first batch of books had to be dispatched to the US immediately because of the high demand there!

As you probably know, Jochen and I published the first OSM book ever in spring 2008, in German; a second edition came out in 2009, and a third in 2010. The book is of course a niche product as books go — with roughly 4,000 copies sold altogether. But we’ve been getting great feedback from the community and were encouraged to do an English version basically from day one. And so we did! At first we toyed with the idea of doing the book on our own with a print-on-demand place like but we tried a few and were unhappy with the results. It took us a while to find a proper publisher with whom we could work, but we finally found a great, if small, publisher in UIT (Cambridge, UK). Just as with the German book, we not only wrote the content, but also did the typesetting, layout, and book cover ourselves, and we are very pleased with the finished product. It looks, feels, even smells like a proper book.

OSM Book

We had great help from one of the old OSM hands in England, Steve Chilton, who made sure that the English version properly reflects the international aspects of OSM, and fixed up our translation. Like the German book, the English one has 384 pages, 32 of them in full colour. (The English language is a bit more concise than German, so we managed to squeeze in a few extra illustrations and examples!) It covers everything there is to know about OSM, from the origins and the community to web services, editors (with detailed descriptions of Potlatch and JOSM), how to render your own maps (including how to write Mapnik and Osmarender style sheets), and how to access OSM data through API, planet files, or diff updates.

If you’re serious about OSM, you should really get this book. (If only to prove to others that the project you’re spending half your waking life on is something serious, you know, something people write books about!)

The sad thing is, like so often with publishing, the distribution, or more specifically,; you can order the book at (free shipping) and it is also in stock at, but says it “ships in 1 to 3 weeks”. (Also, both amazon sites have the wrong cover image, reflecting an early draft.) I hope that these initial distribution problems will soon be flushed out. This is the one drawback of doing a traditionally printed book – the stuff has to be shipped from printers to wholesalers to retailers and all that takes time.

More information on the book is also at