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The RemoteControl plugin provided functionality which is now available within JOSM core. The plugin opened a listening TCP port (8111) on localhost where it accepted commands.

"remote control" is now a core JOSM feature. There is no longer any need to install the remote control plugin.

To enable the remote control feature, go to 'Edit' menu -> 'Preferences...' and click the remote control icon on the left to see all the settings, and simply tick to enable.

More features are documented under:

It was rolled into JOSM core starting with JOSM version 3715. Users of older versions of JOSM may still be using the plugin.

Privacy/Security concerns:

Opening a port can enable other applications to detect a running JOSM which might not be desired. It could introduce a security risk based on the actual implementation even with the current implementation considered safe.

The protocol used is HTTP, so that web applications wishing to let the user edit a certain area can simply generate suitable HTTP links.

All commands are implemented as GET requests.

List of Commands

version command

This command returns the current protocol version of the installed JOSM RemoteControl plugin. Developers can use it to query for a running instance of JOSM and also determine whether the requested functionality is available in the client.

 GET /version[?jsonp=callback]

The command returns a json object containing an application identifier that is always "JOSM RemoteControl", a major number and a minor number. Compatible protocol changes result in an increase of the minor number. Incompatible changes increase the major number. So a client application knowing of protocol version 1.0 can still talk to JOSM having 1.1. But it's not guaranteed to be working with 2.0. So the client should verify the major number.

A typical output looks like this:

   "protocolversion": {
      "major": 1, 
      "minor": 0
   "application": "JOSM RemoteControl"

For older browsers not implementing Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) the command provides the possibility for jsonp callback. Load the URL in a script tag and supply the name of a callback that will receive the JSON data.

Following is some sample code that checks for CORS capabilities and uses JSONP as a fallback solution.

// in addition to the CC-BY-SA of the wiki feel free to use the following source for any purpose without restrictions (PD)
// credits and additions appreciated:

function checkJOSM(version){
   alert(version.application + " uses protocol version " + version.protocolversion.major + "." + version.protocolversion.minor);
   // do something useful, maybe showing edit button

var url = "";
var useFallback = false;
// currently FF3.5, Safari 4 and IE8 implement CORS
if (XMLHttpRequest) {
   var request = new XMLHttpRequest();
   if ("withCredentials" in request) {'GET', url, true);
      request.onreadystatechange = function(){
         if (request.readyState != 4) {
         if (request.status == 200) {
            checkJOSM(eval('(' + request.responseText + ')'));
   else if (XDomainRequest) {
      var xdr = new XDomainRequest();"get", url);
      xdr.onload = function(){
         checkJOSM(eval('(' + xdr.responseText + ')'));
   } else {
      useFallback = true;
else {
   // no XMLHttpRequest available
   useFallback = true;

if (useFallback) {
   // Use legacy jsonp call
   var s = document.createElement('script');
   s.src = url + '?jsonp=checkJOSM';
   s.type = 'text/javascript';
   if (document.getElementsByTagName('head').length > 0) {

load_and_zoom command

Instructs JOSM to download a bounding box from the API, zoom to the downloaded area and optionally select one or more objects.

 GET /load_and_zoom?left=...&right=...&top=...&bottom=...[&select=object[,object...][&addtags=...]]


parameter required/


left R minimum longitude
right R maximum longitude
bottom R minimum latitude
top R maximum latitude
select O comma-separated list of objects that should be selected. Object specifiers are combinations of the words "way", "node", or "relation", and the numerical object id. Example: select=way38473,node12399,node54646
addtags O See full documentation and usage under: /Add-tags.
Optional parameter to add tags. The key and value is separated by "=" and multiple tags can be separated by a Pipe "|".

New parameter since JOSM 3850 (latest version) Try this one for example. Works also with the zoom-command.

The user must review the tags and the selection before the tags are applied to the selected objects.


Start JOSM (don't forget to install the RemoteControl plugin first if you are running an ancient version of JOSM), then click on:

JOSM should now load an area in the german Schwarzwald and have the specified node selected.

zoom command

Instructs JOSM to zoom to the specified area and optionally select one or more objects. (available since remotecontrol revision 22734)

 GET /zoom?left=...&right=...&top=...&bottom=...&select=object[,object...]

Accepts the same parameters as the load_and_zoom command and uses the same code for zoom and selection. The only difference is that no data will be loaded from the API.

Hint: This command can also be used to select objects only. Just enter a small arbitrary area to the left..bottom entries and add the object list to the select= option.

import command

Instructs JOSM to download the specified OSM file and add it to the current data set.

 GET /import?url=...


parameter required/


url R URL to download data from

other commands

More features are documented under:

Since version 22675 remotecontrol allows other plugins to add additional commands. The other registers a RequestHandler class and specifies a command to be handled by this class. The command syntax has to be defined by the other plugin.

Currently WMSPlugin since version 22677 and Reverter plugin since 27091 makes use of this feature.


Since the remote control plugin contacts remote servers, if you are of the security conscious kind, you might want to know exactly what the plugin does, and allow or disallow certain actions. The following configuration options are available:

configuration option default value meaning
remotecontrol.always-confirm false if true, each remote control request must be approved in a pop-up dialog. This will be checked also for commands added by other plugins.
remotecontrol.permission.change-selection true allows remote control plugin to change which objects are selected
remotecontrol.permission.change-viewport true allows remote control plugin to zoom/pan to another location
remotecontrol.permission.import true allows remote control plugin to import data from remote URLs
remotecontrol.permission.load-data true allows remote control plugin to load data from OSM API true allows remote control to report its protocol version

Other plugins that register additional commands can specify a similar setting to disable the specific command registered by this plugin. Since this is controlled by the other plugin, the setting should be in the other plugin's preferences name space and should be handled by the other plugin's preferences editor.

Use from this wiki

Several templates create links fot the RemoteControl plugin.