API v0.6

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API v0.6 is the current version of the OSM Editing API deployed 17-21 April 2009.

This page was updated in March 2012 to reflect small changes applied since then, and in April 2013 after the addition of the Map Notes API.

Contents

General information

This Editing API is based on the ideas of the RESTful API. For more information on RESTful APIs see wikipedia's Representational State Transfer page.

The API is the server component to which REST requests are addressed. The REST requests take the form of HTTP GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE messages. Any payload is in XML form, using the MIME type "text/xml" and UTF-8 character encoding, and may be compressed on the HTTP layer if the client indicates through the HTTP "Accept" header that it can handle compressed messages.

Requests to modify the database are authorized using HTTP Basic Authorization or OAuth. Read requests do not require authorization (except user details).

Preliminary Full DTD (under construction and discussion).

Changes between API v0.5 and API v0.6

URL + authentication

The API is currently accessible using the following URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/

When testing your software against the API you should consider using http://api06.dev.openstreetmap.org/ instead of the live-api. Your account for the live service is not in the same database, so you probably need a new username and password for the test service; please visit that page in a browser to sign up.

All of the calls to the API which update, create or delete data have to be made by an authenticated and authorized user. Authentication works by using HTTP Basic authentication using an user name and password or by using OAuth.

Elements

There are API calls to create, read, update and delete the three basic elements that make up the map data for OpenStreetMap. They each return or expect the data for the elements in a XML format.

Changesets

Every modification of one or more of the elements has to reference an open changeset.

Tags

Every element and changeset may have any number of tags. A tag is a Key-Value pair of Unicode strings of up to 255 full unicode characters (not bytes) each.

Reliably identifying users

The previous API v0.5 returned only the user display name. The user can update this at any time and there is no history stored for display name changes. This means there was no way to reliably identify which user made a specific change. API v0.6 includes the numeric user ID of the account in addition to the display name. E.g.,

<node id="68" ... user="fred" uid="123"/>

This still requires the user to have made his edits public. User ID for users who have previously made anonymous changes will not be visible. In accordance with a recommendation from the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board, anonymous edits are no longer allowed.

Version numbers/optimistic locking

The planet dump, diffs and the API calls for elements will return a version attribute for each Node, Way and Relation.

<node id="68" ... version="12"/>

These version numbers are used for optimistic locking. To upload a new version of an object, the client will need to provide the version of the object it is modifying. If the version supplied is not the same as the server's current version, an error will be returned (HTTP status code 409: Conflict). This means that any client that is updating data will need to save the version numbers of the original data. One element can be updated multiple times during one changeset and its version number is increased each time so there can be multiple history versions of a single element for one changeset.

In addition, clients can now ask for specific versions of an element.

Version numbers will always begin at 1 and increase by 1 every time an element is changed. Clients should not, however, rely on the increase by 1 when updating an element, but instead retrieve the new version number from the server response.

XML Format

Every XML response from the server is wrapped in an <osm> element unless specified otherwise (e.g., for diff uploads, or changeset downloads). In most of the later examples this wrapper is left out.

<osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
  ...
  ...
</osm>

Every call to the API has to be wrapped in an <osm> element as well but the version and generator attributes can be left out.

Faking the correct HTTP methods

Many of the API calls use PUT and DELETE methods, which may not be available in the client HTTP stack you are using. You should complain to the authors of that stack that it is not a full HTTP implementation. If that doesn't work, then there is a work-around by putting the X_HTTP_METHOD_OVERRIDE header with the value of the method you want to simulate. For example, to make curl do a POST, but use the PUT handler, do:

curl -v -v -d @changeset.osm -H "X_HTTP_METHOD_OVERRIDE: PUT" "http://server/api/0.6/changeset/create"

API calls

Miscellaneous

Capabilities: GET /api/capabilities

This API call is meant to provide information about the capabilities and limitations of the current API.

Response

Returns a XML document (content type text/xml)

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
   <api>
     <version minimum="0.6" maximum="0.6"/>
     <area maximum="0.25"/>
     <tracepoints per_page="5000"/>
     <waynodes maximum="2000"/>
     <changesets maximum_elements="50000"/>
     <timeout seconds="300"/>
     <status database="online" api="online" gpx="online"/>
   </api>
 </osm>

Please note that actual returned values may change at any time and this XML document only serves as an example.

  • Version minimum and maximum are the API call versions that the server will accept.
  • Area maximum is the maximum area in square degrees that can be queried by API calls.
  • Tracepoints per_page is the maximum number of points in a single GPS trace. (Possibly incorrect)
  • Waypoints maximum is the maximum number of nodes that a way may contain.
  • Changesets maximum is the maximum number of combined nodes, ways and relations that can be contained in a changeset.
  • The status element returns either online, readonly or offline for each of the database, API and GPX API. The database field is informational, and the API/GPX-API fields indicate whether a client should expect read and write requests to work (online), only read requests to work (readonly) or no requests to work (offline).

Notes

  • Note that the URL is versionless. For convenience, the server supports the request /api/0.6/capabilities too, such that clients can use the same URL prefix http:/.../api/0.6 for all requests.

Retrieving map data by bounding box: GET /api/0.6/map

The following command returns:

  • All nodes that are inside a given bounding box and any relations that reference them.
  • All ways that reference at least one node that is inside a given bounding box, any relations that reference them [the ways], and any nodes outside the bounding box that the ways may reference.
  • All relations that reference one of the nodes, ways or relations included due to the above rules. (Does not apply recursively, see explanation below.)
GET /api/0.6/map?bbox=left,bottom,right,top

where:

  • left is the longitude of the left (westernmost) side of the bounding box.
  • bottom is the latitude of the bottom (southernmost) side of the bounding box.
  • right is the longitude of the right (easternmost) side of the bounding box.
  • top is the latitude of the top (northernmost) side of the bounding box.

Note that, while this command returns those relations that reference the aforementioned nodes and ways, the reverse is not true: it does not (necessarily) return all of the nodes and ways that are referenced by these relations. This prevents unreasonably-large result sets. For example, imagine the case where:

  • There is a relationship named "England" that references every node in England.
  • The nodes, ways, and relations are retrieved for a bounding box that covers a small portion of England.

While the result would include the nodes, ways, and relations as specified by the rules for the command, including the "England" relation, it would (fortuitously) not include every node and way in England. If desired, the nodes and ways referenced by the "England" relation could be retrieved by their respective IDs.

Also note that ways which intersect the bounding box but have no nodes within the bounding box will not be returned.

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
When any of the node/way/relation limits are crossed
HTTP status code 509 (Bandwidth Limit Exceeded)
"Error: You have downloaded too much data. Please try again later." See Developer FAQ.

Retrieving permissions: GET /api/0.6/permissions

Returns the permissions granted to the current API connection.

  • If the API client is not authorized, an empty list of permissions will be returned.
  • If the API client uses Basic Auth, the list of permissions will contain all permissions.
  • If the API client uses OAuth, the list will contain the permissions actually granted by the user.
GET /api/0.6/permissions

Response

Returns the single permissions element containing the permission tags (content type text/xml)

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
   <permissions>
     <permission name="allow_read_prefs"/>
     ...
     <permission name="allow_read_gpx"/>
     <permission name="allow_write_gpx"/>
   </permissions>
 </osm>
 

Notes

Currently the following permissions can appear in the result, corresponding directly to the ones used in the OAuth application definition:

  • allow_read_prefs (read user preferences)
  • allow_write_prefs (modify user preferences)
  • allow_write_diary (create diary entries, comments and make friends)
  • allow_write_api (modify the map)
  • allow_read_gpx (read private GPS traces)
  • allow_write_gpx (upload GPS traces)
  • allow_write_notes (modify notes)

Changesets

To make it easier to identify related changes the concept of changesets is introduced. Every modification of the standard OSM elements has to reference an open changeset. A changeset may contain tags just like the other elements. A recommended tag for changesets is the key comment=* with a short human readable description of the changes being made in that changeset, similar to a commit message in a revision control system. A new changeset can be opened at any time and a changeset may referenced from multiple API calls. Because of this it can be closed manually as the server can't know when one changeset ends and another should begin. To avoid stale open changesets a mechanism is implemented to automatically close changesets upon one of the following three conditions:

  • More than 50,000 edits on a single changeset See more specific limits
  • The changeset has been open for more than 24 hours
  • There have been no changes/API calls related to a changeset in 1 hour (i.e., idle timeout)

Changesets are specifically not atomic - elements added within a changeset will be visible to other users before the changeset is closed. Given how many changes might be uploaded in one step it's not feasible. Instead optimistic locking is used as described above. Anything submitted to the server in a single request will be considered atomically. To achieve transactionality for multiple changes there is the new diff upload API call.

Changesets facilitate the implementation of rollbacks. By providing insight into the changes committed by a single person it becomes easier to identify the changes made, rather than just rolling back a whole region. Direct support for rollback will not be in the API, instead they will be a form of reverse merging, where client can download the changeset, examine the changes and then manipulate the API to obtain the desired results. Rolling back a changeset can be be an extremely complex process especially if the rollback conflicts with other changes made in the mean time; we expect (hope) that in time, expert applications will be created that make rollback on various levels available to the average user.

To support easier usage, the server stores a bounding box for each changeset and allows users to query changesets in an area. This will be calculated by the server, since it needs to look up the relevant nodes anyway. As an optimisation the server will create a buffer slightly larger than the objects to avoid having to update the bounding box too often. Client should note that if people make many small changes in a large area they will be easily matched. In this case clients should examine the changeset directly to see if it truly overlaps. A client can expand the bounding box manually using an API call, which can be useful when the client already knows the full extent of the data it is about to upload.

It is not possible to delete changesets at the moment, even if they don't contain any changes. The server may at a later time delete changesets which are closed and which do not contain any changes. This is not yet implemented.

Bounding box computation

This is how the API computes the bounding box associated with a changeset:

  • Nodes: Any change to a node, including deletion, adds the node's old and new location to the bbox.
  • Ways: Any change to a way, including deletion, adds all of the way's nodes to the bbox.
  • Relations:
  • adding or removing nodes or ways from a relation causes them to be added to the changeset bounding box.
  • adding a relation member or changing tag values causes all node and way members to be added to the bounding box.
  • this is similar to how the map call does things and is reasonable on the assumption that adding or removing members doesn't materially change the rest of the relation.

Create: PUT /api/0.6/changeset/create

The payload of a changeset creation request has to be one or more changeset elements optionally including an arbitrary number of tags.

<osm>
  <changeset>
    <tag k="created_by" v="JOSM 1.61"/>
    <tag k="comment" v="Just adding some streetnames"/>
    ...
  </changeset>
  ...
</osm>

If there are multiple changeset elements in the XML the tags from all of them are used, later ones overriding the earlier ones in case of duplicate keys.

Response

The ID of the newly created changeset with a content type of text/plain

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
When there are errors parsing the XML
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP PUT request

Notes

Any number of possibly editor-specific, tags are allowed. An editor might, for example, automatically include information about which background image was used, or even a bit of internal state information that will make it easier to revisit the changeset with the same editor later, etc.

Clients should include a created_by=* tag. Clients are advised to make sure that a comment=* is present, which the user has entered. It is optional at the moment but this might change in later API versions. Clients should not automatically generate the comment tag, as this tag is for the end-user to describe their changes. Clients may add any other tags as they see fit.

Read: GET /api/0.6/changeset/#id

Returns the changeset with the given id in OSM-XML format.

<osm>
  <changeset id="10" user="fred" uid="123" created_at="2008-11-08T19:07:39+01:00" open="true" min_lon="7.0191821" min_lat="49.2785426" max_lon="7.0197485" max_lat="49.2793101">
    <tag k="created_by" v="JOSM 1.61"/>
    <tag k="comment" v="Just adding some streetnames"/>
    ...
 </changeset>
</osm>

Parameters

id
The id of the changeset to retrieve

Response

Returns the single changeset element containing the changeset tags with a content type of text/xml

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no changeset with the given id could be found

Notes

  • The uid might not be available for changesets auto generated by the API v0.5 to API v0.6 transition?
  • The bounding box attributes will be missing for an empty changeset.
  • The changeset bounding box is a rectangle that contains the bounding boxes of all objects changed in this changeset. It is not necessarily the smallest possible rectangle that does so.
  • This API call only returns information about the changeset itself but not the actual changes made to elements in this changeset. To access this information use the download API call.

Update: PUT /api/0.6/changeset/#id

For updating tags on the changeset, e.g. changeset comment=foo.

Payload should be an OSM document containing the new version of a single changeset. Bounding box, update time and other attributes are ignored and cannot be updated by this method. For updating the bounding box see the expand_bbox method.

<osm>
  <changeset>
    <tag k="comment" v="Just adding some streetnames and a restaurant"/>
  </changeset>
</osm>

Parameters

id
The id of the changeset to update. The user issuing this API call has to be the same that created the changeset

Response

An OSM document containing the new version of the changeset with a content type of text/xml

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
When there are errors parsing the XML
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no changeset with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP PUT request
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it

Notes

Unchanged tags have to be repeated in order to not be deleted.

Close: PUT /api/0.6/changeset/#id/close

Closes a changeset. A changeset may already have been closed without the owner issuing this API call. In this case an error code is returned.

Parameters

id
The id of the changeset to close. The user issuing this API call has to be the same that created the changeset.

Response

Nothing is returned upon successful closing of a changeset (HTTP status code 200)

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no changeset with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP PUT request
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it

Download: GET /api/0.6/changeset/#id/download

Returns the OsmChange document describing all changes associated with the changeset.

Parameters

id
The id of the changeset for which the OsmChange is requested.

Response

The OsmChange XML with a content type of text/xml.

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no changeset with the given id could be found

Notes

  • The result of calling this may change as long as the changeset is open.
  • The elements in the OsmChange are sorted by timestamp and version number.

Expand Bounding Box: POST /api/0.6/changeset/#id/expand_bbox

POSTing a XML document containing node elements (these node elements have nothing to do with the Nodes mentioned elsewhere in this page, they are merely a container for lat and lon attributes) that are to this location will cause the bounding box of the changeset to expand to exactly the smallest containing rectangle of the points given and the bounding box automatically calculated by the API. So this call can only increase the size of the bounding box and later additions to the changeset may override the expanded bounding box.

The input document should look like this:

<osm>
  <node lat=".." lon=".."/>
  <node lat=".." lon=".."/>
  ...
</osm>

The osm element may contain other elements than node, but these are ignored. The node element may contain other attributes (including id) than lat and lon, but these are ignored as well.

This call is supported to give editors the chance to expand the bounding box that the API automatically computes for the changeset. There are cases where the editor will have extra knowledge that make it advisable to flag a larger area as changed than the API would guess from the changes alone. This call may also be used before uploading a large number of changes as a hint for the server which area will be affected.

Parameters

id
The id of the changeset for which the OsmChange is requested.

Response

Returns the updated changeset containing with a content type of text/xml.

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no changeset with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it

Notes

  • I don't know if there are really any advantages in issuing a expand_bbox call before a large chunk of changes is uploaded.
  • As the reuse of node as a XML element name is confusing and the format of this call might change in a later API version.

Query: GET /api/0.6/changesets

This is an API method for querying changesets. It supports querying by different criteria.

Where multiple queries are given the result will be those which match all of the requirements. The contents of the returned document are the changesets and their tags. To get the full set of changes associated with a changeset, use the download method on each changeset ID individually.

Modification and extension of the basic queries above may be required to support rollback and other uses we find for changesets.

Parameters

bbox=min_lon,min_lat,max_lon,max_lat (W,S,E,N)
Find changesets within the given bounding box
user=#uid or display_name=#name
Find changesets by the user with the given user id or display name. Providing both is an error.
time=T1
Find changesets closed after T1
time=T1,T2
Find changesets that were closed after T1 and created before T2
open=true
Only finds changesets that are still open but excludes changesets that are closed or have reached the element limit for a changeset (50.000 at the moment)
closed=true
Only finds changesets that are closed or have reached the element limit
changesets=#cid{,#cid}
Finds changesets with the specified ids (since 2013-12-05)

Time format: Anything that this Ruby function will parse. The default str is ’-4712-01-01T00:00:00+00:00’; this is Julian Day Number day 0.

Response

Returns a list of all changeset ordered by creation date. The <osm> element may be empty if there were no results for the query. The response is send with a content type of text/xml.

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request) - text/plain
On misformed parameters. A text message explaining the error is returned. In particular, trying to provide both the UID and display name as user query parameters will result in this error.
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no user with the given uid or display_name could be found.

Notes

  • Only changesets by public users are returned.
  • I'm not sure if the time query makes sense as it is implemented now. The original documentation for this feature states:
    • One-sided to query changesets where the start time is after the given time.
    • Bounded (?time=T1,T2) to query where the start time is between the given times.
  • Returns at most 100 changesets

Diff upload: POST /api/0.6/changeset/#id/upload

With this API call files in the OsmChange format can be uploaded to the server. This is guaranteed to be running in a transaction. So either all the changes are applied or none.

To upload an OSC file it has to conform to the OsmChange specification with the following differences:

  • each element must carry a changeset and a version attribute, except when you are creating an element where the version is not required as the server sets that for you. The changeset must be the same as the changeset ID being uploaded to.
  • a <delete> block in the OsmChange document may have an if-unused attribute (the value of which is ignored). If this attribute is present, then the delete operation(s) in this block are conditional and will only be executed if the object to be deleted is not used by another object. Without the if-unused, such a situation would lead to an error, and the whole diff upload would fail.
  • OsmChange documents generally have user and uid attributes on each element. These are not required in the document uploaded to the API.

Parameters

id
The ID of the changeset this diff belongs to.
POST data
The OsmChange file data

Response

If a diff is successfully applied a XML (content type text/xml) is returned in the following format

<diffResult generator="OpenStreetMap Server" version="0.6">
  <node|way|relation old_id="#" new_id="#" new_version="#"/>
  ...
</diffResult>

with one element for every element in the upload. Note that this can be counter-intuitive when the same element has appeared multiple times in the input then it will appear multiple times in the output.

Attribute create modify delete
old_id same as uploaded element.
new_id new ID same as uploaded not present
new_version new version not present

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request) - text/plain
When there are errors parsing the XML. A text message explaining the error is returned.
When an placeholder ID is missing or not unique
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no changeset with the given id could be found
Or when the diff contains elements where the given id could be found
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP POST request
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
If, while uploading, the max. size of the changeset is exceeded. A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it
Or if the diff contains elements with changeset IDs which don't match the changeset ID that the diff was uploaded to
Any of the error codes that could occur an a create, update or delete operation for one of the elements
See the according sections in this page

Notes

  • Processing stops at the first error, so if there are multiple conflicts in one diff upload, only the first problem is reported.
  • There is currently no limit in the diff size but this will probably be changed later.

Changeset summary

The procedure for successful creation of a changeset is summarized in the following picture:

OSM API0.6 Changeset successful creation V0.1.png

Changeset discussion

(new)

This is a new featured added to the website in November 2014 (See blog)

New API operations for adding discussion postings will be documented here soon.

Elements

There are create, read, update and delete calls for all of the three basic elements in OpenStreetMap (Nodes, Ways and Relations). These calls are very similar except for the payload and a few special error messages so they are documented only once.

Create: PUT /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/create

Creates a new element of the specified type. Note that the entire request should be wrapped in a
<osm>...</osm>
element.

A Node:

<osm>
 <node changeset="12" lat="..." lon="...">
   <tag k="note" v="Just a node"/>
   ...
 </node>
</osm>

A Way:

<osm>
 <way changeset="12">
   <tag k="note" v="Just a way"/>
   ...
   <nd ref="123"/>
   <nd ref="4345"/>
   ...
 </way>
</osm>

A Relation:

<osm>
 <relation changeset="12">
   <tag k="note" v="Just a relation"/>
   ...
   <member type="node" role="stop" ref="123"/>
   <member type="way" ref="234"/>
 </relation>
</osm>

If multiple elements are provided only the first is created. The rest is discarded (this behaviour differs from changeset creation).

Response

The ID of the newly created element (content type is text/plain)

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request) - text/plain
When there are errors parsing the XML. A text message explaining the error is returned.
When a changeset ID is missing (unfortunately the error messages are not consistent)
When a node is outside the world
When there are too many nodes for a way
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP PUT request
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it
HTTP status code 412 (Precondition Failed)
When a way has nodes that do not exist or are not visible (i.e. deleted): "Way #{id} requires the nodes with id in (#{missing_ids}), which either do not exist, or are not visible."
When a relation has elements that do not exist or are not visible: "Relation with id #{id} cannot be saved due to #{element} with id #{element.id}"

Notes

  • This updates the bounding box of the changeset.
  • The role attribute for relations is optional. An empty string is the default.

Read: GET /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id

Returns the XML representation of the element.

Response

XML representing the element, wrapped in an <osm> element:

<osm>
 <node id="123" lat="..." lon="..." version="142" changeset="12" user="fred" uid="123" visible="true" timestamp="2005-07-30T14:27:12+01:00">
   <tag k="note" v="Just a node"/>
   ...
 </node>
</osm>

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no element with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 410 (Gone)
If the element has been deleted

Update: PUT /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id

Updates data from a preexisting element. A full representation of the element as it should be after the update has to be provided. So any tags that remain unchanged have to be in the update as well. A version number has to be provided as well.

Response

Returns the new version number with a content type of text/plain.

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request) - text/plain
When there are errors parsing the XML. A text message explaining the error is returned. This can also happen if you forget to pass the Content-Length header.
When a changeset ID is missing (unfortunately the error messages are not consistent)
When a node is outside the world
When there are too many nodes for a way
When the version of the provided element does not match the current database version of the element
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no element with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 412 (Precondition Failed)
When a way has nodes that do not exist or are not visible (i.e. deleted): "Way #{id} requires the nodes with id in (#{missing_ids}), which either do not exist, or are not visible."
When a relation has elements that do not exist or are not visible: "Relation with id #{id} cannot be saved due to #{element} with id #{element.id}"

Notes

  • This updates the bounding box of the changeset.

Delete: DELETE /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id

Expects a valid XML representation of the element to be deleted.

For example:

<osm>
 <node id="..." version="..." changeset="..." lat="..." lon="..." />
</osm>

Where the node ID in the XML must match the ID in the URL, the version must match the version of the element you downloaded and the changeset must match the ID of an open changeset owned by the current authenticated user. It is allowed, but not necessary, to have tags on the element except for lat/long tags which are required, see http://web.archiveorange.com/archive/v/wQWIbRy3o8HjRNYaSim9 and also tested to still hold on 2011-05-30, without lat+lon the server gives 400 Bad request.

Response

Returns the new version number with a content type of text/plain.

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request) - text/plain
When there are errors parsing the XML. A text message explaining the error is returned.
When a changeset ID is missing (unfortunately the error messages are not consistent)
When a node is outside the world
When there are too many nodes for a way
When the version of the provided element does not match the current database version of the element
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no element with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict) - text/plain
If the changeset in question has already been closed (either by the user itself or as a result of the auto-closing feature). A message with the format "The changeset #id was closed at #closed_at." is returned
Or if the user trying to update the changeset is not the same as the one that created it
HTTP status code 410 (Gone)
If the element has already been deleted
HTTP status code 412 (Precondition Failed)
When a node is still used by a way: Node #{id} is still used by way #{way.id}.
When a node is still member of a relation: Node #{id} is still used by relation #{relation.id}.
When a way is still member of a relation: Way #{id} still used by relation #{relation.id}.
When a relation is still member of another relation: The relation #{id} is used in relation #{relation.id}.

Notes

  • In earlier API versions no payload was required. It is needed now because of the need for changeset IDs and version numbers.

History: GET /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id/history

Retrieves all old versions of an element.

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no element with the given id could be found

Version: GET /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id/#version

Retrieves a specific version of the element.

Error codes

HTTP status code 403 (Forbidden)
When the version of the element is not available (due to redaction)
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no element with the given id could be found

Multi fetch: GET /api/0.6/[nodes|ways|relations]?#parameters

Allows a user to fetch multiple elements at once.

Parameters

[nodes|ways|relations]=comma separated list
The parameter has to be the same in the URL (e.g. /api/0.6/nodes?nodes=123,456,789)

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
On a malformed request (parameters missing or wrong)
HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
If one of the elements could not be found (By "not found" is meant never existed in the database, if the object was deleted, it will be returned with the attribute visible="false")
HTTP status code 414 (Request-URI Too Large)
If the URI was too long (How long is too long?)

Relations for element: GET /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id/relations

Returns a XML document containing all (not deleted) relations in which the given element is used.

Notes

  • There is no error if the element does not exist.
  • If the element does not exist or it isn't used in any relations an empty XML document is returned (apart from the <osm> elements)

Ways for node: GET /api/0.6/node/#id/ways

Returns a XML document containing all the (not deleted) ways in which the given node is used.

Notes

  • There is no error if the node does not exist.
  • If the node does not exist or it isn't used in any ways an empty XML document is returned (apart from the <osm> elements)

Full: GET /api/0.6/[way|relation]/#id/full

This API call retrieves a way or relation and all other elements referenced by it

  • For a way, it will return the way specified plus the full XML of all nodes referenced by the way.
  • For a relation, it will return the following:
    • The relation itself
    • All nodes, ways, and relations that are members of the relation
    • Plus all nodes used by ways from the previous step
    • The same recursive logic is not applied to relations. This means: If relation r1 contains way w1 and relation r2, and w1 contains nodes n1 and n2, and r2 contains node n3, then a "full" request for r1 will give you r1, r2, w1, n1, and n2. Not n3.

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no element with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 410 (Gone)
If the element has been deleted

Redaction: PUT /api/0.6/[node|way|relation]/#id/#version/redact?redaction=#redaction_id

This is an API method originaly created for the ODbL license change to hide contributions from users that did not accept the new CT/licence. It is now used by the DWG to hide old versions of elements containing data privacy or copyright infringements. All API retrieval request for the element #version will return an HTTP error 403.

Notes

Error Codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
"Cannot redact current version of element, only historical versions may be redacted."

GPS traces

Retrieving GPS points

The following command returns, in GPX format, the GPS track points that are inside a given bounding box.

GET /api/0.6/trackpoints?bbox=left,bottom,right,top&page=pageNumber

where:

  • left, bottom, right, and top are used the same way as they are in the command to retrieve nodes, ways, and relations.
  • pageNumber specifies which group of 5,000 points, or page, to return. Since the command does not return more than 5,000 points at a time, this parameter must be incremented—and the command sent again (using the same bounding box)—in order to retrieve all of the points for a bounding box that contains more than 5,000 points. When this parameter is 0 (zero), the command returns the first 5,000 points; when it is 1, the command returns points 5,001–10,000, etc.

Examples

Retrieve the first 5,000 points for a bounding box:

http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/trackpoints?bbox=0,51.5,0.25,51.75&page=0

Retrieve the next 5,000 points (points 5,001–10,000) for the same bounding box:

http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/trackpoints?bbox=0,51.5,0.25,51.75&page=1


Uploading traces

You can upload a GPX file or archive of GPX files through the API:

POST /api/0.6/gpx/create

It expects the following POST parameters in a multipart/form-data HTTP message:

parameter description
file The GPX file containing the track points. Note that for successful processing, the file must contain trackpoints (<trkpt>), not only waypoints, and the trackpoints must have a valid timestamp. Since the file is processed asynchronously, the call will complete successfully even if the file cannot be processed. The file may also be a .tar, .tar.gz or .zip containing multiple gpx files, although it will appear as a single entry in the upload log.
description The trace description.
tags A string containing tags for the trace.
public 1 if the trace is public, 0 if not. This exists for backwards compatibility only - the visibility parameter should now be used instead. This value will be ignored if visibility is also provided.
visibility One of the following: private, public, trackable, identifiable (for explanations see OSM trace upload page or Visibility of GPS traces)

HTTP basic authentication is required.

Downloading trace metadata

You access a GPX file's details and download the full file:

GET /api/0.6/gpx/<id>/details
GET /api/0.6/gpx/<id>/data

HTTP basic authentication is required, although theoretically these calls should be allowed without authentication if the trace is marked public. If the trace is not public, only the owner may access the data.

Example "details" response:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
  <gpx_file id="836619" name="track.gpx" lat="52.0194" lon="8.51807" 
            user="Hartmut Holzgraefe" visibility="public" pending="false"  
            timestamp="2010-10-09T09:24:19Z">
    <description>PHP upload test</description>
    <tag>test</tag>
    <tag>php</tag>
  </gpx_file>
</osm>

The "data" response will be the exact file uploaded.


You can also get a list of all the GPX traces for the authenticated user using:

GET /api/0.6/user/gpx_files

Methods for user data

Details of a user

This API method was added in September 2012 (code).

You can get the home location and the displayname of the user, by using

GET /api/0.6/user/#id

this returns for example

 <osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
   <user id="12023" display_name="jbpbis" account_created="2007-08-16T01:35:56Z">
     <description></description>
     <contributor-terms agreed="false"/>
     <img href="http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/c8c86cd15f60ecca66ce2b10cb6b9a00.jpg?s=256&d=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.openstreetmap.org%2Fassets%2Fusers%2Fimages%2Flarge-39c3a9dc4e778311af6b70ddcf447b58.png"/>
     <roles>
     </roles>
     <changesets count="1"/>
     <traces count="0"/>
     <blocks>
       <received count="0" active="0"/>
     </blocks>
   </user>
 </osm>

or an empty file if no user found for given identifier.

Details of the logged-in user

You can get the home location and the displayname of the user, by using

GET /api/0.6/user/details

this returns an XML document of the from

<osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
 <user display_name="Max Muster" account_created="2006-07-21T19:28:26Z" id="1234">
   <contributor-terms agreed="true" pd="true"/>
   <img href="http://www.openstreetmap.org/attachments/users/images/000/000/1234/original/someLongURLOrOther.JPG"/>
   <roles></roles>
   <changesets count="4182"/>
   <traces count="513"/>
   <blocks>
       <received count="0" active="0"/>
   </blocks>
   <home lat="49.4733718952806" lon="8.89285988577866" zoom="3"/>
   <description>The description of your profile</description>
   <languages>
     <lang>de-DE</lang>
     <lang>de</lang>
     <lang>en-US</lang>
     <lang>en</lang>
   </languages>
   <messages>
     <received count="1" unread="0"/>
     <sent count="0"/>
   </messages>
 </user>
</osm>

The messages section has been available since August 16th 2013.

Preferences of the logged-in user

The OSM server supports storing arbitrary user preferences. This can be used by editors, for example, to offer the same configuration wherever the user logs in, instead of a locally-stored configuration.

You can retrieve the list of current preferences using

 GET /api/0.6/user/preferences

this returns an XML document of the form

  <osm version="0.6" generator="OpenStreetMap server">
    <preferences>
       <preference k="somekey" v="somevalue" />
       ...
    </preferences>
  </osm>

The same structure can be used to upload preferences (using the PUT method instead of GET). All existing preferences are replaced by the newly uploaded set.

Also possible is to PUT a single preference using

 PUT /api/0.6/user/preferences/[your_key] (without the brackets)

in this instance, the payload of the request should only contain the value of the preference, i.e. not XML formatted.

The PUT call returns HTTP response code 406 (not acceptable) if the same key occurs more than once, and code 413 (request entity too large) if you try to upload more than 150 preferences at once. The sizes of the key and value are limited to 255 characters.

Map Notes API

This provides access to the notes feature, which allows users to add geo-referenced textual "post-it" notes. This feature was not originally in the API 0.6 and was only added later ( 04/23/2013 in commit 0c8ad2f86edefed72052b402742cadedb0d674d9 )

Retrieving bug data by bounding box: GET /api/0.6/notes

Returns the existing notes in the specified bounding box. The notes will be ordered by the date of their last change, the most recent one will be first. The list of notes can be returned in several different forms (e.g. as executable JavaScript, XML, RSS, json and GPX) depending on the file extension.


URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes?bbox=left,bottom,right,top (example)
Return type: application/xml


Parameter Description Allowed values Default value
bbox Coordinates for the area to retrieve the bugs from Floating point numbers in degrees none, parameter required
limit Specifies the number of entries returned at max A value of between 1 and 10000 is valid 100 is the default
closed Specifies the number of days a bug needs to be closed to no longer be returned A value of 0 means only open bugs are returned. A value of -1 means all bugs are returned. 7 is the default

You can specify the format you want the results returned as by specifying a file extension. E.g. example to get results in json. Currently the format RSS, XML, json and gpx are supported.

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
When any of the limits are crossed

Read: GET /api/0.6/notes/#id

Returns the existing note with the given ID. The output can be in several formats (e.g. XML, RSS, json or GPX) depending on the file extension.


URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes/#id ([1])
Return type: application/xml

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no bug with the given id could be found

Create a new note: Create: POST /api/0.6/notes

Create a new note


URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes?lat=51.00&lon=0.1&text=ThisIsANote (example)
Return type: application/xml


Parameter Description Allowed values Default value
lat Specifies the latitude of the bug floatingpoint number in degrees No default, needs to be specified
lon Specifies the longitude of the bug floatingpoint number in degrees No default, needs to be specified
text A text field with arbitrary text containing the note No default, needs to be present

If the request is made as an authenticated user, the note is associated to that user account.

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
if the text field was not present
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP POST request

Create a new comment: Create: POST /api/0.6/notes/#id/comment

Add a new comment to note #id

URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes/#id/comment?text=ThisIsABugComment (example)
Return type: application/xml

Parameter Description Allowed values Default value
text The comment A text field with arbitrary text No default, needs to be present


Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
if the text field was not present
HTTP status code 404 (Not found)
if no bug with that id is not available
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP POST request

Close: POST /api/0.6/notes/#id/close

Close a note as fixed.


URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes/#id/close?text=Comment (example)
Return type: application/xml

This request needs to be done as an authenticated user.

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no bug with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP POST request

Reopen: POST /api/0.6/notes/#id/reopen

Reopen a closed note.


URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes/#id/reopen?text=Comment (example)
Return type: application/xml

This request needs to be done as an authenticated user.

Error codes

HTTP status code 404 (Not Found)
When no bug with the given id could be found
HTTP status code 405 (Method Not Allowed)
If the request is not a HTTP POST request
HTTP status code 409 (Conflict)
When reopening an already closed note
HTTP status code 410 (Gone)
When reopening a deleted note

Search for notes on text and comments: GET /api/0.6/notes/search

Returns the existing notes matching either the initial note text or any of the comments. The notes will be ordered by the date of their last change, the most recent one will be first. The list of notes can be returned in several different forms (e.g. XML, RSS, json or GPX) depending on file extension given.


URL: http://api.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/notes/search?q=SearchTerm (example)
Return type: application/xml


Parameter Description Allowed values Default value
q Specified the search query String none, parameter required
limit Specifies the number of entries returned at max A value of between 1 and 10000 is valid 100 is the default
closed Specifies the number of days a bug needs to be closed to no longer be returned A value of 0 means only open bugs are returned. A value of -1 means all bugs are returned. 7 is the default

Error codes

HTTP status code 400 (Bad Request)
When any of the limits are crossed

When NOT to use the API

For bulk upload scripts or data modification, the API may not be the proper mechanism. The modern version of creating a bulk upload or modification script is to build a change set, load it into an editor like JOSM, and verify the work prior to commit. You can also use the API to upload a change set in an atomic manner. See also: Change File Formats, Import

The API is primarily intended for editing. For read-only purposes or projects, see API usage policy.

Further reading