Updating german Aral petrol stations

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This page documents the plans for an update of OSM objects representing Aral petrol stations in Germany.

BP, owner of the brand "Aral", is offering their latest petrol station coordinates and additional data for free. The data of approx. 2.350 Aral petrol stations is made available to the public under the Open Database License (ODbL).

The data set is available for download at navads.nl, the only official supplier of BP petrol stations data. The data set contains coordinates collected and owned by BP and additional data (name, address, phone, opening hours and more) suitable for existing OSM tags. Additional information like opening hours etc. can now be added to the corresponding OSM objects.


Match existing Aral petrol stations in Germany with the latest data made available by the petrol station operator, then add missing petrol stations and add additional tags to existing stations.


  • compared to the initial plan, the publishing of changesets has been postponed to May because of extensive and time consuming manual/visual matching validation.
  • March/April 2015: match Aral petrol station data against existing OSM objects "amenity=fuel", QA
  • Begin of May 2015: creating a changeset of petrol stations missing in OSM, and creation of a changeset for updating the tags of existing OSM objects, followed by uploading the files.

The community at OSM (imports@openstreetmap.org) and OSM-DE (talk-de@openstreetmap.org) will be informed about all tasks.

Feedback, discussion and support, especially from local mappers, is highly appreciated.


The plan is to match the petrol stations from the BP csv file with existing OSM objects ("amenity=fuel") and identify

  • tags from existing OSM objects that may benefit from being updated
  • tags that should be added to existing OSM objects to provide useful information (e.g. opening hours)
  • eventually missing petrol stations that should be added to OSM (node objects)
  • OSM "amenity=fuel" objects tagged with "Aral" that are not/no longer part of the latest petrol station data set

The main tasks are done using a PostgreSQL/Postgis DB containing a current copy of "europe.osm". This process is executed carefully in order not to falsify existing OSM content. The process results in an update of german Aral petrol station objects.


The dataset can be downloaded from the data source site. There is an additional file describing the content of the csv file.

Data source site: http://base.navads.eu/bpxml/
CSV dataset column description: http://base.navads.eu/bpxml/bp_petrol_stations_columns_documentation.csv
Data license: http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/odbl/
ODbL Compliance verified: yes
Mirror (manually updated): http://arnulf.us/BPXML

Import Type

The downloadable BP petrol station file containing all Aral petrol stations in Germany will be updated occasionally. When leaving an email address for download, an email will be sent every time this csv file is updated. The update process might be executed every time the csv file is updated, depending on the amount of changes that were detected in comparison to the required update effort.

Data Preparation, Data Processing and Tagging Plans

The first part of the process was matching BP petrol stations and OSM objects (amenity=fuel) based on identical address information and identical brand/operator information. In addition, the distance between the locations of BP objects and OSM objects was checked. The further matching process between BP stations and OSM objects involved extensive manual/visual validations. The initial estimation of OSM objects to be added was more than 400. In the end, this process has identified only 8 BP petrol stations where no OSM object could be linked with.

To keep things as simple as possible, an initial .osm file has been created containing those 8 additional OSM objects. At first, they come with minimal tagging:

  • name
  • operator
  • brand
  • amenity
  • addr:housenumber
  • addr:street
  • addr:postcode
  • addr:city
  • addr:country

Data Transformation Results

  • Only 8 petrol stations from the BP file could not be matched to an existing OSM object amenity=fuel
  • User User icon 2.svg Danymu (on osm, edits, contrib, heatmap) added one of those 8 missing petrol stations.
  • knutb added changeset 31502126 (Visualiseachavi) on 27.05.2015 containing 7 new Aral petrol stations.

Next step is a changeset containing the update of the Aral petrol station tags. This will be documented soon.

Team Approach