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Using Mapnik and Cairo in a Python module, MapOSMatic creates a map of an area and creates a street index complete with grid references. MapOSMatic originally only worked within France, but following a "hackfest" in December 2009 MapOSMatic has been able to render maps of anywhere in the world. 
Following its expansion beyond France, MapOSMatic expanded to multiple languages and many more localisations. Language and localisation selected impact on how the index is sorted, and the prefixes and abbreviations used. Current fully supported languages are French, English and Italian. 
MapOSMatic has annual 'hackfests', which lead to improvements to the product. One of these hackfests resulted in the ability of MapOSMatic to automatically create an "A to Z" for a city.
MapOSMatic places a powerful tool in the hands of the public - the ability to create a fully indexed map of locations of their choice. These maps can then be printed out for use anywhere and at any time. That this can be done for free could lead to increased pressure on commercial mappers if/when MapOSMatic takes off.
MapOSMatic invites anyone to contribute to the code, though its website lists the following people as authors:
- David Decotigny
- Frédéric Lehobey
- David Mentré
- Maxime Petazzoni
- Thomas Petazzoni
- Gaël Utard