osmconvert can be used to convert and process OpenStreetMap files. It masters fewer functions than the commonly-used Osmosis: for example, there is no way to access a database with osmconvert. However, the program runs faster and offers a few special functions (--all-to-nodes, --complex-ways and --out-statistics).
- 1 Download
- 2 Start Program
- 3 Program Description
- 3.1 Converting Files
- 3.2 Applying Geographical Borders
- 3.2.1 Clipping based on Longitude and Latitude
- 3.2.2 Clipping based on a Polygon
- 3.2.3 Clipping OSM Change Files?
- 3.2.4 Keeping Cross-Border Ways Complete
- 3.2.5 Keeping Cross-Border Multipolygons Complete
- 3.2.6 Excluding References to Objects outside the Borders
- 3.2.7 Merging two or more Geographical Areas
- 3.2.8 Special case: clipping contour data
- 3.3 Exclude Information or Contents from the Output File
- 3.4 Updating OSM Files
- 3.5 Retrieving the Differences between two OSM Files
- 3.6 Set the File Timestamp
- 3.7 Retrieving Statistical Data
- 3.8 Writing CSV Files
- 3.9 Combining the functions
- 3.10 Parallel Processing
- 3.11 Parameter File
- 3.12 Technical Details
- 4 Benchmarks
These Downloads are available:
- binary for Linux 32 bit
- binary for Linux 64 bit
- binary for Windows 32 bit (runs with Win 64 too)
- binary for Windows 64 bit
- osmctools Debian package, to install run:
apt install osmctools
- source code (regular version)
- need to link zlib (i.e.
cc osmconvert.c -lz -o osmconvert)
- need to link zlib (i.e.
- (previous source code)
- (next source code (if available))
- Download and build in one run:
wget -O - http://m.m.i24.cc/osmconvert.c | cc -x c - -lz -O3 -o osmconvert
- osmctools git repo
As usual: There is no warranty, to the extent permitted by law. In case of error with "zlib.h" not found : install zlib1g-dev
Limitations on Windows
The Windows version (the downloaded binary) does not work with large files such as planet.osm (greater than 2Gb) when using the --complete-ways or --complex-ways option. For example, the Windows 64-bit version fails with the command "osmconvert planet.osm.pbf -b=17.7,59.15,18.4,59.5 -o=stockholm.osm --complete-ways --drop-version --verbose". The same command works perfectly using the Linux 64-bit version. This seems to be caused by a problem with seeking to file positions outside the signed 32-bit range, which is a limitation of the zlib library currently linked to the Windows binaries.
Windows users can start osmconvert by double-clicking on the executable.
Users of all platforms can start osmconvert from the command-line. Simply executing osmconvert starts a friendly, interactive text-based interface which guides users through the process of using the program. The full capabilities of osmconvert are not available in interactive mode. Power users can bypass the interactive interface by passing flags, like this:
To get a detailed description, please use the built-in help function of the program:
This call will display a brief parameter overview:
The following chapters demonstrate the most important program functions.
Conversion may take place between these data formats:
If you want to route the program's output to standard output you will have to tell the program which data format shall be used:
--out-osm (default), --out-osc, --out-osh, --out-o5m, --out-o5c, or --out-pbf.
If you supply the output file's name by applying the option -o=, osmconvert will determine the data format by evaluating the file name extension. Examples for both ways:
osmconvert norway.pbf >norway.osm osmconvert region.pbf -o=region.o5m osmconvert region.o5m -o=region.pbf osmconvert 20110510_20110511.osc --out-o5c >20110510_20110511.o5c
You also can use compressed input files if you supply the data via standard input. Examples:
bzcat europe.osm.bz2 | osmconvert - -o=europe.o5m osmconvert norway.pbf | gzip -1 >norway.osm.gz
The option "-" informs the program to expect input data via standard input.
osmconvert offers limited decompression functionality: you can decompress .gz files. The program will recognize gzip compression on its own, hence you do not need to care about which input file is gzip compressed and which is not. The built-in decompression algorithm is less powerful than specialized decompression programs, however this feature is really useful if you want to update an OSM file by using a number of newly downloaded compressed .osc files. Examples:
osmconvert old.o5m daily_updates/2011*.osc.gz -o=new.o5m osmconvert daily_updates/2011*.osc.gz --merge-versions --out-osc | gzip > cumulative.osc.gz
PBF input files with non-standard lon/lat granularity
osmconvert expects PBF files to use the standard OpenStreetMap granularity, which is 100 nanodegrees. It is possible to produce PBF files with different granularity using osmosis. If asked to convert a file with a different granularity then osmconvert will give an error: "node nanodegrees must be 100: 10000". The solution for reading files with a non-standard granularity is to use the --pbf-granularity=<val> option.
Applying Geographical Borders
Clipping based on Longitude and Latitude
Supplying geocoordinates is the easiest way to define a geographical region which shall be extracted. Some online maps continuously display the geocoordinates of the mouse cursor. For example: Osmarenderer map, public transport map.
To define this limiting quasi rectangle you need to supply the coordinates of its southwestern and northeastern corners (WSEN). For example:
osmconvert germany.pbf -b=10.5,49,11.5,50 -o=nuernberg.o5m osmconvert ontario.osm -b=-75.8,45.19,-75.7,45.23 -o=ott.osm
Clipping based on a Polygon
Instead of a simple bounding rectangle you can use a border polygon file. This will allow a more accurate limitation to a political border, for example:
osmconvert germany.pbf -B=hamburg.poly -o=hamburg.pbf
The format of a border polygon file can be found in the OSM Wiki: here. You do not need to adhere strictly the format description, but you need to ensure that every line of coordinates starts with blanks.
osmconvert is able to deal with separate polygons in one file, it even considers "islands" in polygons if they have been defined properly.
Clipping OSM Change Files?
It is not recommended to apply geographical borders to change files. Since only nodes carry geographical locations, the program does not know what to do with ways and relations whose related nodes are not in the same file. As a result these ways and relations will be excluded from the file. This is usually not what you would like to accomplish.
Keeping Cross-Border Ways Complete
Some applications require lines (so-called ways) to stay intact even if they lie partially outside the defined geographical region. This can be accomplished by applying the option --complete-ways. Examples:
osmconvert germany.o5m -b=10.5,49,11.5,50 --complete-ways -o=nuernberg.o5m osmconvert germany.o5m -B=hamburg.poly --complete-ways -o=hamburg.pbf
This option, and the one described in the next section, will limit the size of the input file to 2 GiB if your operating system is 32 bit Windows. As the input file is needed to be read two or three times, the program must "jump" within this file. Unfortunately the presently used link library does not support long jumps with 32 bit Windows. There is no such limitation for Linux (neither for the 32 bit nor for the 64 bit version).
Likewise for this and the following section, it is recommended to use .o5m as data format for the input file. The reason is that .pbf files are usually compressed internally and therefore will be read much slower than .o5m files.
The --complete-ways option is not available through the Osmupdate command.
Keeping Cross-Border Multipolygons Complete
More and more areas of rivers, forests and lakes are surrounded not only by one closed line but by several concatenated lines. So-called multipolygons are used to logically connect these physically connected lines. Each line holds a role depending on the position: "outer" for the surrounding border or "inner" for excluded areas (e.g. an island within a lake).
When applying geographical borders, osmconvert can consider these multipolygons and keep them intact even if there is only a small part of the multipolygon's area within the borders. To instruct the program to do so, choose option --complex-ways. Examples:
osmconvert germany.o5m -b=10.5,49,11.5,50 --complex-ways -o=nuernberg.o5m osmconvert germany.o5m -B=hamburg.poly --complex-ways -o=hamburg.pbf
Please note the two remarks at the end of the previous section.
Excluding References to Objects outside the Borders
If you need to delete references to nodes which have been excluded because lying outside geographical borders, use option --drop-broken-refs (might be helpful for data imports into OSM Map Composer or JOSM).
Merging two or more Geographical Areas
Under certain conditions, OSM data files can be merged. If they hold objects (nodes, ways, relations) with the same id, they must have the same content. For example: If a way crosses the geographical border between two regional files, the way dataset must contain every node reference, even the references to nodes which do not lie within the borders of the regarding file. I.e., such a region must not have been cut out using the option --drop-brokenrefs. Examples for geographical merging:
osmconvert austria.o5m germany.o5m switzerland.o5m -o=dach.o5m osmconvert north_america.osm south_america.osm -o=americas.osm
Special case: clipping contour data
Exclude Information or Contents from the Output File
Dispose of Author Information
For most applications the author tags are not needed. If you decide to exclude user name, user id, changeset and object timestamp information, add the command line option --drop-author. For example:
osmconvert --drop-author a.pbf -o=a.osm
Usually you will not encounter any problems when deleting the author information from .osm or .o5m files, however it is not encouraged to do this with .pbf files because most programs will not cope with this change of format.
If you need to reappend author information at a later time, let's say because a subsequent program depends on this format, you can generate them anew with the option --fake-author. Naturally, the new author information will be just replacement values which adhere the format description, nothing more.
Excluding certain OSM Object Types
If necessary, you can get rid of whole sections of a file:
--drop-nodes --drop-ways --drop-relations
The program osmfilter offers more granular filter functionality.
Dispose of Ways and Relations and Convert them to Nodes
Sometimes it will be easier for subsequent processing if the file contains only objects of the most primitive object type: nodes. osmconvert offers a function which deletes every way and every relation and creates a node as replacement for each. Each node's longitude and latitude are set to the geographical center of the deleted object. If the deleted object was a non-closed way, one of its nodes' position will be taken instead of the center. Each tag of the deleted object is copied to the node. As an id for the new node the way's (resp. relation's) id is taken and incremented by 1015 (resp. 2*1015). For example:
osmconvert hamburg.pbf --all-to-nodes -o=hamburg_nodes.osm
The --object-type-offset= option allows you to change the id offset, from 1015 to a different value.
The option --add-bbox-tags will provide a bounding box for each way and relation which has been converted to a node. These bounding boxes will appear as tags. For Example (area of London):
<tag k="bBox" v="-0.5000,51.0000,0.5000,52.0000"/>
Updating OSM Files
If you have an OSM data file (.osm, .o5m or .pbf), you can merge it with one or more OSM change files (.osc or .o5c) to update it. For example, you have a planet.osm file or a regional germany.o5m file from yesterday, you can apply the daily change file from this morning to get an up-to-date planet.osm, resp. germany.o5m file. The syntax is like this:
osmconvert planet_old.osm changefile.osc -o=planet_new.osm osmconvert planet_old.o5m changefile.osc.gz -o=planet_new.o5m osmconvert germany_old.o5m changefile.osc -B=germany.poly -o=germany_new.o5m
In case your data file is older, you can apply two or more change files simultaneously:
osmconvert veryold.osm c1.osc c2.osc c3.osc -o=new.osm osmconvert day24.o5m c24_25.osc c25_26.osc -o=day26.o5m osmconvert day01.o5m november/*.osc -o=day30.o5m
The OSM objects in the change file must be unique. That means, there has to be only one occurrence of every node, way or relation. Minutely and hourly change files may contain more than one version of OSM objects, therefore you will get warning messages. You can combine all versions of each object if you specify the option --merge-versions. Then, only the newest version of each object will remain in the file.
To automatically update an OSM file or to create cumulative .osc files, please see osmupdate.
Retrieving the Differences between two OSM Files
You can create an .osc or an .o5c change file by comparing two .osm or .o5m files. For example:
osmconvert old.osm new.osm --diff -o=changefile.osc osmconvert old.o5m new.o5m --diff -o=changefile.o5c
Other operations, like applying regional borders, are not allowed in the same run. Both files must be sorted by object type and id. Created objects will appear in the output file as "modified", unless having version number 1.
When calculating file differences osmconvert relies on the version numbers of the objects which are to be compared. If the version numbers are not available or if the objects shall be compared by contents, you can order the program to do so by applying the option --diff-contents (works for .o5m files only).
If an object is to be deleted, only its id (and author data) is stored. It has proven useful not to store the object's contents because it is going to be deleted anyway. However, a few programs expect the nodes' longitude and latitude values for formal reason even if the only action they do is to delete these values. The option --fake-lonlat helps you to create such formally required replacement values.
Set the File Timestamp
Usually, OSM files have a file timestamp which allows you to determine the actuality of the file. During file conversions, osmconvert will keep this timestamp. Nevertheless, it can be adjusted by you. For example:
osmconvert hamburg.o5m --timestamp=2011-08-01T23:50:00Z -o=hamburg.o5m
Retrieving Statistical Data
There are different ways to get meta data or statistical data of an OSM file. First, you can read a file's timestamp with the --out-timestamp option (the Z at the end stands for Zulu):
osmconvert file_with_timestamp.o5m --out-timestamp 2011-08-01T23:50:00Z osmconvert file_without_timestamp.o5m --out-timestamp (invalid timestamp)
Second, you can analyze the whole file and create a set of statistical data:
$ osmconvert germany.osm.pbf --out-statistics timestamp min: 2005-07-05T02:14:17Z timestamp max: 2011-07-31T19:59:46Z lon min: -20.0712330 lon max: 21.1441799 lat min: 47.0830289 lat max: 59.9982830 nodes: 78138447 ways: 11342322 relations: 176024 node id min: 1 node id max: 1380816490 way id min: 92 way id max: 123952798 relation id min: 159 relation id max: 1693098
Writing CSV Files
To get character-separated lists you may define ".csv" as output format. This can be done by using the -o= option, e.g. -o=my_table.csv or by defining one of the csv related options: --out-csv , --csv= , --csv-headline , --csv-separator= .
The table will have tree tab-separated columns: object type name, id, name. To change the column separator or to select a different set of columns please use the --csv-separator= resp. the --csv= option. Use the --help option to display further information on this topic. For example (in combination with option --all-to-nodes ):
osmconvert shops.osm --all-to-nodes --csv="@id @lon @lat amenity shop name" --csv-headline @id @lon @lat amenity shop name 21548298 11.6122123 48.6884848 shop bakery Miller 21552613 9.0651970 49.9979332 shop butcher Jaeger 1000000168276611 6.6058085 51.4556093 shop drugstore AllForYou
Columns will be separated by Tab characters of your system's default size. It is recommended to use -o=somefilename.csv if the data are to be written into a file.
Combining the functions
Most of the previously introduced functions can be combined. Thus, for example, you can update an .osm file and limit its region in one pass:
osmconvert day24.osm -B=p.poly c24_25.osc -o=day25.osm
osmconvert does not support parallel processing on its own. However you can use your operating system's capabilities and enter such instructions at the command line. This might also be useful in cases you want to process more than one .pbf file, since osmconvert is presently not able to read more than one .pbf file at the same time. For example:
osmconvert region1.pbf --out-o5m | osmconvert - region2.pbf -o=all.pbf
In this example the first process will read the .pbf file "region1.pbf" and output it o5m-formatted to standard output. The second process will read this data from standard input, merge it with the other regional file "region2.pbf", and write it to the file "all.pbf". You will have recognized the minus sign in the second osmconvert command: it advices the program to read data from standard input. The pipe operator "|" connects standard output of the first command to standard input of the second command.
You also can use more than one pipe by creating so-called named pipes. Unfortunately this might not work with Windows. On Linux, there is the mkfifo command to create pipes. These pipes can be addressed the same way files are. In this example, three processes will be created to merge three .pbf files:
mkfifo p1 p2 osmconvert a.pbf --out-o5m -o=p1 & osmconvert osmconvert b.pbf --out-o5m -o=p2 & osmconvert p1 p2 c.pbf -o=all.pbf
The ampersand operators will each create a background process for the command which stands left to it. The last command in the line remains in foreground and will collect the data the two background processes produce.
Alternately, many Unix shells provide a technique called Process Substitution, which essentially creates the named pipes for you automatically, no need to use mkfifo. An equivalent to the above command would be:
osmconvert <(osmconvert a.pbf --out-o5m) <(osmconvert b.pbf --out-o5m) c.pbf -o=all.pbf
The command line argument can get long if you specify complex operations. Please use a parameter file instead and refer to this file with --parameter-file=. For example:
// verbose -v // input file planet.o5m // bounding box -b=8.123,10.123,9.456,11.456 --complex-ways // output file -o=region.o5m
Empty lines are used to separate the parameters. Linefeeds within parameters will be converted to spaces. Lines which start with "// " are treated as comments and therefore ignored by the program.
To perform certain operations osmconvert needs to create temporary files. These files are small – in comparison to the OSM files which are going to be processed. Their names each start with "osmconvert_tempfile" and end with numbers. You may change the left part of the file name, including the path. For example:
osmconvert germany.pbf -B=n.poly -t=/media/hd70/temp -o=nuernberg.o5m
There are three options to affect the program's memory management: --hash-memory=, --max-refs= and --max-objects=. Please refer to the detailed description shown by the help option:
Sometimes it is nice to get some information about what the program is doing at the moment. You can activate the verbose mode by applying this option: -v. With -v=2 you will get even more detailed output, however it might be a bit confusing.
Planet .pbf -> .o5m
A quick one, as Osmconvert was not alone accessing the disk and I did not think of running 'time':
16GB ram, 7200rpmdisk.
./osmconvert planet-latest.osm.pbf -o=planet-latest.o5m
Approx. 12 minutes.
Please add your benchmark results.
Planet .osm -> .o5m
$ date Sat Dec 29 14:36:19 PST 2012 $ ./osmconvert planet.osm -o=planet-121207.o5m $ date Sat Dec 29 18:34:16 PST 2012 $ ls -lah ... -rw------- 1 user staff 32G Dec 29 18:34 planet-121207.o5m -rw-r--r-- 1 user staff 319G Dec 7 02:41 planet.osm ...
So.... about 4 hrs on a 16GB i7 with planet.osm on a USB 3 external hd. Turns out this was a defective USB3 drive...
Planet .osm -> clipped .osm
$time ./osmconvert planet-130123.osm -b=-144,20,-50,90 -o=na_subset.osm real 54m59.172s user 39m18.091s sys 5m3.111s
On an 16 core server with 48GB ram, 12x2TB raid5. Performance limited by use of single cpu thread. Input planet.osm was ~360GB, output subset was ~112GB.