From the AARoads Wiki: Read about the road before you go
Jump to navigation Jump to search
USRD MTF.svg Maps
A department of the AARoads project

The Maps Department creates and maintains system and route maps for use on road-transportation-related articles. The department is responsible for creating and maintaining a standard appearance for road-related maps. Any state is welcome here.

We accomplish this by creating GeoJSON features using open source data from OpenStreetMap. These features can then be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and added to infoboxes using {{Map}}.

See our tutorial for making route maps from OpenStreetMap data.


To do

  • Identify articles that lack maps
  • Identify articles that need updated maps or maps more specific to a previous time period
  • Identify and categorize existing historical road maps
  • Tag existing maps to state they were created using open-source GIS data. (Important as copyright issues have been raised at image reviews)


There are established standards and conventions for color that were established before the creation of this wiki:

Type w:Colorimetry
Road highlighted
R:204 G:0 B:0
Toll highways
Business routes
R:0 G:160 B:0
Spur routes
R:0 G:0 B:255
Subsidiary routes (Truck Routes, etc.)
R:255 G:170 B:255
Former segments
R:136 G:136 B:136

Standard convention is to have the line width be 3 pixels wide; this is the default in the {{Map}} template. Other properties that can be included in the same manner include stroke-width and stroke-opacity.

Map size
  • Maps for infoboxes should be approximately 290×240 though a few pixels off isn't a big deal.
  • Maps outside the infobox are fair game as far as size would be concerned.
  • Maps will use an implied legend of the above; if there is any deviation, a legend should be included in the map's caption to prevent confusion.


Interactive maps on this wiki are derived from open data maintained by the OpenStreetMap and OpenHistoricalMap projects. OSM data comes from vector tiles hosted by the OpenMapTiles Community Vector Tile Server with support from OpenStreetMap U.S. The vector tiles are rendered directly in the Web browser by MapLibre GL JS.

The map design is based on the OpenStreetMap Americana stylesheet. OSM Americana adopts a classic American road atlas motif, including route shield icons that resemble the realistic shields that adorn AARoads Wiki articles. The stylesheet has been forked to apply the legacy standards for static maps adopted by English Wikipedia's WikiProject U.S. Roads.

The {{Map}} template and Module:Map generate HTML markup that is interpreted by a MediaWiki gadget. If you do not want to load interactive maps in articles, you can disable the "Interactive maps" gadget in your Gadget preferences.

Unlike Wikipedia, this wiki does not use the Kartographer extension because the Wikimedia Maps tile service is unavailable to third-party websites. The OSM Americana maps provide access to the same OSM data and more, and the vector tiles are updated more than three times as frequently as of April 2024, thanks to a server provided by OpenStreetMap U.S. As a 501(c)(3) organization, OSMUS welcomes donations to fund this and other community services and programs.

Commons overlays

{{Map}} can overlay arbitrary GeoJSON shape data onto the interactive basemap. For example, the map in the infobox of Oklahoma State Highway 82 highlights the highway's route. The data for this route is stored on Wikimedia Commons.

Here is how to create a GeoJSON map on Commons. Navigate to the corresponding Data map page on Commons and click edit. When you edit the data page for the first time, you should be presented with content like this in the edit window. Edit the description, sources (optional), license (just remove // before your option), zoom, and coordinates accordingly. Then copy the GeoJSON code from your source. Then you can simply paste everything in the data field and overwrite { ... GeoJSON ... }. When you click save, an error will pop up, but that will only clear if you remove of the commented-out lines (those starting with //) in the code.

    // !!!!! All comments will be automatically deleted on save !!!!!

    // Optional "description" field to describe this map
    "description": {"en": "map description"},

    // Optional "sources" field to describe the sources of the map.  Can use Wiki Markup
    "sources": "Copied from [http://example.com Example Map Source]",

    // Mandatory "license" field.
	// Recommended license: CC0-1.0.
	// Please uncomment one of the licenses:
	// "license": "CC0-1.0", // Creative Commons Zero
	// "license": "CC-BY-1.0", // Creative Commons Attribution 1.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-2.0", // Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-2.5", // Creative Commons Attribution 2.5
	// "license": "CC-BY-3.0", // Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-4.0", // Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-4.0+", // Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 or later version
	// "license": "CC-BY-SA-1.0", // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-SA-2.0", // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-SA-2.5", // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5
	// "license": "CC-BY-SA-3.0", // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-SA-4.0", // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
	// "license": "CC-BY-SA-4.0+", // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 or later version
	// "license": "ODbL-1.0", // ODC Open Database License v1.0
	// "license": "dl-de-zero-2.0", // Data licence Germany - Zero - Version 2.0
	// "license": "dl-de-by-1.0", // Data licence Germany – attribution – Version 1.0
	// "license": "dl-de-by-2.0", // Data licence Germany – attribution – version 2.0
	// "license": "GeoNutzV", // Geo Data license Germany

    "zoom": 3,
    "latitude": 0,
    "longitude": 0,
    "data": {

        ... GeoJSON ...



  • National Highway Planning Network Data - contains most major highways in the US
  • TIGER Data Shapefiles - includes essentials such as water bodies and land masses
  • Quantum GIS - freeware software fully capable of producing maps
  • A tutorial on how to make GeoJson based maps can be found here
  • A tutorial on how to make KML based maps can be found here. Note: AAroads wiki does not support KML based maps, but several Wikimedia hosted sites do.

State GIS Resources



External links