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GRASS GIS ( is a free open source full-featured GIS software used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/map production, spatial modelling, and visualization. GRASS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many government agencies and environmental consulting companies.

GRASS runs on Linux, MacOSX, and MS Windows.

You can do all sorts of vector data manipulations in GRASS, from bulk cleaning to shortest path routing. GRASS uses the OGR library from GDAL to support many many GIS data formats. Also many many GPS data formats can be imported and exported using the gpsbabel interface.

Import OSM data into GRASS

You can load OSM data into GRASS using

  • old GRASS GIS 6.4: the module (gpsbabel 1.3.5 or newer required), or convert to GML format and import with
  • GRASS GIS 7: addon - Imports OpenStreetMap data into GRASS GIS.


  • Merge ways with the module.
  • Split ways into chunks of 495 nodes per way with the v.split module. (helpful to not overload the API)
  • Network/routing modules:*
  • Street address modules: v.lrs.*
  • Data clean: v.clean
  • All vector modules:

Export OSM data from GRASS

Export with the v.out.gpsbabel module from any location/map projection, it will automatically be converted to WGS84 lat/lon for you. Example:

v.out.gpsbabel -t in=park_boundary out=park_boundary.osm format=osm type=boundary

See also

  • Neteler, M., Bowman, M.H., Landa, M., Metz, M. (2012) "GRASS GIS: A multi-purpose open source GIS." Environmental Modelling & Software (DOI)