University Map Wiki

Map Export

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The University Map's export/print pages let you make an extract of the map in a variety of scales and formats.

You can get:

  • at its simplest, just the map you are looking at fitted to an A4 page in a PDF file, which you can then print or pass on.
  • a similar PDF A4 page page but where you choose the scale, orientation, area and information included.
  • a PNG image file suitable for putting on another web site (though if you want to email or include a map in a web site, consider linking to or embedding the main map so you always get the most up to date version - if you want to mark on top, you can also do this using an embedded map). This is somewhat similar to doing a screen shot of the map.
  • a map extract for use in publications: a PDF file of an exact physical size suitable for placement in a page makeup program such as Adobe InDesign, Quark XPress or Serif Page Plus.

To start exporting a map extract, choose the Export/Print button above the map's search box, or Export/Print from the More menu in the main University map at


Choose your format

When you start Export/Print, first choose the format.

If the map has any annotation overlaid (markers, pins, entrances or annotation files), you can also choose whether or not to include it.

Previously exported extracts will also appear here if you ask to be remembered at the end of the process. Map extracts are stored for seven days, after which they will disappear from this panel. You can forward links to them for others to download during that time if you wish.

  • Quick Print has no further options. It just produces the section of the map you are looking at as a PDF file fitted to an A4 page and search results, if any, on a second page.
  • PDF A4 page is similar, but it works the other way round: you choose a region of the map which will fill the available space on the page. Both these formats include a page margin, scale bar and the necessary attribution.
  • PNG image produces just the map extract as an image. You choose the size (in pixels).
  • PDF extract is similar, but produces a scalable vector PDF file instead of an image, of a specified physical size in millimetres with no borders or margins. Such files are suited to dropping into layouts in page makeup applications.

PDF A4 page options

Choose area

After selecting the PDF A4 page format, you are presented with an orange box overlaid on the map representing the available paper area for the map you were looking at. The map is zoomed out to do this, otherwise the box tends to be unhelpfully bigger than the browser window.

Drag this box around to select the area which will be extracted.

You can also change the paper orientation using the buttons in the left side panel. If there were search results available, you can also choose to put them on the same sheet, separate sheet, or not include them.

Finally if you zoom in or out you can change which map scale, and therefore level of detail, you want (normally it will be the scale your started with). The more zoomed in you are, the larger the scale and the more detail the map shows. However, because it is a larger scale, you can fit less ground area on a given size of paper.

There are 7 zoom levels, which for technical reasons are numbered 13 to 19, 19 being the largest scale. On a typical monitor, and on paper, zoom 15 (with a 500m scale bar in the top right) is approximately 1:10,000. Each zoom in doubles the scale, so zoom 19 is about 1:625.

PNG image options

Choose area

The area selection for a PNG image is not determined by any paper size, but by pixel dimensions.

You can enter these by typing, or resize the box using the handles provided. Handles are the orange blobs at each corner and centre of each side. Drag one of these to enlarge or reduce the box from that corner or side.

As for PDF, drag the orange box itself to choose the area to be extracted.

PDF extract options

Choose map

For PDF extracts there is an additional step: choosing the map. This option offers two additional behind-the-scenes maps to extract from, as well as the online map. Examples are shown below.

Choose area

Once you've chosen the map for a PDF extract, choose the area as with the other formats, by dragging the orange box.

Also choose the size of your extáract. This can be arbitrarily large and because it is mostly formed from vector data it will happily enlarge, even to poster sizes. The size is specified in millimetres so that you can relate it to available space on a physical page being prepared with a page makeup application. You don't actually have to use it at that physical size, but if you make it too small the text would be unreadable, and of course, the scale would not then be accurate.

Extra map examples

Two additional maps other than the online map are available when using PDF Extract.

At a scale of 1:3,7500, the central area map covers roughly from Sidgwick Site in the west to the Chemistry Laboratory in the east. It's intended to highlight the central city University sites - it names colleges but does not show their buildings or outlines. In its entirety it fits on landscape A4 and is primarily intended for use in the University's paper map. Example extract:


At 1:7,500, the simplified map is the basis for the main paper map but omits all but main street names, and is therefore less cluttered and perhaps more suitable for annotating on top. Example extract:


For comparison, the online map's zoom level 15 (indicated in the URL and by the 500m scale size in the top right) is approximately 1:10,000 on a typical monitor or when printed (each zoom level changes the scale by a factor of 2).

Making the extract

Wait for your map

Once you have started to make your file, your request joins a queue. Usually it only takes a few seconds, but if there are several people wanting extracts at the same time, it may take longer.

If you don't want to wait, this page provides the means to send you an email when it is done, or a link for you to check later.

If you say 'Remember me', it will also show you all your previous extracts which are still available (they are kept for seven days) at the beginning of the Export/print process.

Collect your map

Once the map extract is complete, the waiting symbol turns into a download botton. Press this to collect your file. You can still send its link by email to collect it later if you want, and remember all your Export files here.

Cookies and privacy

When you say 'Remember me' a cookie is placed on your computer. This is in addition to the other cookies used by the map and requires your permission.

The cookie is called 'exportuser'. It stores only a unique random code which is used to identify on the server export extracts requested from your browser.

(This means 'Remember me' only works if you use the same computer/browser the next time: we specifically don't use University logins because the service is also intended for use by visitors).

Whether or not you remember this number in your browser, the requests and extracts are stored for seven days along with

  • the information needed to make the extract (area, search information, settings etc)
  • the IP address from which it was requested, and
  • the time and date.

While not made explicitly public, a map extract is not treated as private information, and intentionally, anyone who knows the relevant link will be able to access it. As these are not guessable, this would usually only be map administrators and people you specifically give the link to.


When using the map in a publication (whether online or on paper), your document needs to include an attribution to OpenStreetMap, on which the map is based, and we would appreciate acknowledgement of the source. The A4 PDFs already include such an acknowledgement, but the PDF and PNG extracts do not, to give you maximum flexibility to incorporate the map as you wish in your publications.

Please quote the following:

 Map base data copyright © OpenStreetMap contributors, including
 University of Cambridge, licensed ODbL v1.0. Map presentation
 copyright © [year] University of Cambridge.