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This article or section may contain out-of-date information: This page is from 2007. The project does not appear to be active anymore.
If you know about the current state of affairs, please help keep everyone informed by updating this information. (Discussion)
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The Frida project was started by the Intevation GmbH (in cooperation with the city of Osnabrück), to get a free vector map of Osnabrück (Germany) for demo and testing purposes of free geosoftware. The city of Osnabrück was very helpful and provided Intevation 2003 with a set of high resolution aerial fotos. These fotos were converted into a vector format by an internship project.

The Frida data often appears when geosoftware is presented in Germany, e. g. in the german magazine iX. The data is released under the GNU GPL (see and (compared to our common GPS-based OSM data) pretty accurate and complete already today ─ although it's pretty certain that at least some errors still exist.

Converting Frida to OSM

  • CC License -> the Frida data was »relicensed« by Intevation from GNU GPL to the OSM CC license Sep 20th 2007, see the updated Frida license page
  • topology is available through identical point coordinates (if two points are at the exact same position, then it is in effect a road crossing or alike)
  • the data is available as a Shapefile (ESRI binary) and as ASCII data (an older ESRI-Format, which only describes »geometricals«). Intevation in the meantime provided the Frida data in OSM format, which can be loaded into JOSM but needs cleanup to meet common OSM style (see below).

Data Maintenance

An »incremental« data maintenance (e. g. correcting single streetnames) is not intended by Intevation to be done in Frida in the future. If there's any such demand, OSM and it's tools would be used (e. g. JOSM). Of course, that's also true for OSM volunteers in the Osnabrück area.

Frida WMS server

There's a WMS server available, e. g. you can have a look at a picture from the southwest of Osnabrück.

You can also add the WMS server to the JOSM WMS plugin. After installing the WMS Plugin, you can add the WMS server under Edit/Preferences/WMS with the following WMS server URL:,gewaesser,strassenall,sehenswuerdigkeiten

Open points

Bulk merge of data

It's foreseeable (but not sure), that the city of Osnabrück will provide updated and probably even more accurate (in the cm range!) data from time to time. It would be very helpful to have some sort of »bulk merge« mechanism for this task. Of course, data edited by volounteers in the meantime shouldn't be thrown away ─ so a kind of merge has to take place.


  • adding special frida tags to have unique ids (it's currently unsure if that's really possible)

Export as shape file

Intevation uses the Frida data for demo/testing purposes ─ which was the main reason why the database was build. It would be very nice to have the OSM data available as such (Esri binary) shapefiles. If we have such a generic mechanism, it would be a nice bonus to be able to export other parts (cities) of the OSM data as shapefiles as well.


Import to OSM "state of the art"

On friday September 21st 2007, Intevation provided me (Ulf Lamping) with "raw OSM conversions" of the Frida data and relicensed this Frida data under the CC-by-SA 2 license - so the way is free to import the Frida data into OSM.

Fortunately for the merge of Frida data, Osnabrück was virtually not existing in OSM - so no need to merge a lot of stuff. The already existing motorways A1 and A30 were existing both in OSM and Frida and fit well together, so it's pretty certain that there's no difference in the data projection or alike.

The data came in five packages, which will be discussed separately.


State: initial import done

The streets might need the most "manual tweaking".

The things already existing (and therefore needs special care to merge) in OSM were:

  • motorways (A1, A30, A33) - I had to manually merge motorways existing in OSM (A1, A30). It was a bit annoying to remove the Frida A1 and A30 by hand and join the OSM motorways to the Frida motorway links and junctions.
  • railway - as there are no railways in Frida data, no problem with merging

To Do

  • split A33 into two oneways
  • check motorway_links against reality
  • add oneway tags to streets (OSM data doesn't contain oneway tags, but Osnabrück has oneway streets for sure)
  • lot's of tertiary is used, where residential would be better
  • lot's of ways are split into several parts, a single way would be enough (reduce database size)
  • street names doesn't follow OSM conventions well, "Bremer Str." -> "Bremer Straße"
  • street names contain house numbers which doesn't seem to be true (conversion error?) as they are constant for long distances. Simply remove them "Bremer Str. 001-073" -> "Bremer Straße"
  • lot's of streets have no name

Points of Interest

State: initial import done

To Do

  • add more details to imported POIs (names, further details, ...)
  • add other POIs (e.g. fuel stations)

Greens / Forrests

State: initial import done

To Do

  • fix some validator errors (duplicate segments, ...)
  • there were some errors while uploading data, might need some further investigation if all is well

Water areas

State: initial import done

To Do

  • some islands in the Rubbenbruchsee (and elsewhere) has to be fixed

Water lines (rivers, canals)

State: initial import done

Nothing more to do.


Intevation (and many others) think that OSM is »the way« for free geodata and Intevation has the right »open source spirit« to be pretty helpful making the Frida data available to OSM.

It was pretty interesting to see the support from the city of Osnabrück ─ they seem to recognize the value of free geodata and were much more supportive than I would've ever imagined. Further cooperation seems likely :-)