Frequently Asked Questions


What do I get?

A zip file with a set of Ai-files version CS6, a set of Geotiff-files (.tif) with worldfile (.tfw) and projection-file (.prj), a PDF-file with an overview of these squared tiles to make it possible to put all the maps together (and create one big map) and a text-file containing the copyright towards the open data of OpenStreetMap and the produced work of Aquaterra.

The Ai-files are, just like the tiles in the PDF-file, based on the grid used in OpenStreetMap. They are named as {z}_{x}_{y} where z is the zoomlevel, x is the tile number from left to right and y is the tile number from top to bottom. These world coordinates start with (0,0) in the upper left corner. The files in the Aquaterra Mapshop are extracted from zoomlevel 0 to 12. A selection of zoomlevel (which refers to the scale that is used, see title of each product) has been chosen to limit the number of tiles needed for your continent, country or city. Contact us for a custom selection of tiles.

All files are also georeferenced in the Web Mercator projection. This is a variation of the Mercator projection, which is used in many web maps. The entire world is projected using the spherical formula at all scales which gives a deviation that extends further from the equator.

Each Ai-file contains graphic vector data which is selected and converted from OpenStreetMap to make it a ready-to-use map with layer structure. Layers can be switched off, manipulated or styled to your own needs. All maps have been OSM-styled and are labelled for each specific scale. The Ai-files are all geospatial and contain usefull attributes to make it intelligent maps.

The maps in the mapshop are all ready-to-use, but by no means finished maps. It is up to you to complete the map to your needs.

What are these files not?

A finished map. Allthough these maps are usable as is, in most cases you will have to put some work of your own into them.

As a company that has been making custom maps for over 25 years we know that every cartographic project has it’s own specific challenges (scale, colorscheme, level of design/finishing, …).

If you need help with a map project, that is a service we can provide. Just contact us and we will get back to you.

What do I need to use these maps?

A program capable of opening .ai vector files. All our maps are optimized for use in Adobe® Illustrator®, but they also work with e.g. Inkscape and other vector graphics editors. The Geotiff-files can be used in any commercial or open source GIS software like QGIS.

OpenStreetMap is free, so why do I need these files?

Not everyone knows how to get Openstreetmap data for offline use. With these files we want to make Openstreetmap data more accessible to graphic designers and publishers. Starting from a raw database, each map has been given a certain intelligence (layer structure, attributed information, georeferenced, tiled like the levels from OSM) and has been converted for you in such a way that you can edit it easily to your own preferences. These digital maps are ideal for high quality printing or geospatial design projects.

What do you mean by “Open Licensed”?

Open licensed means that the data as such is free to be shared, improved and built upon. The produced work by Aquaterra, however, is licensed, not sold.

You always have to credit Aquaterra, OpenStreetMap and its contributors. If you alter or build upon these files, you may distribute the result only under the same licence.

Missing the right fonts on your system?

Download DejaVu Font here.

Download Noto Fonts here.

If you still have trouble using the fonts in your map, please contact us.

What about the real scale of my map?

Calculate the real scale of your map here.