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Author: Richard Fairhurst and contributors
License: WTFPL
Platforms: macOS and Windows
Status: Actively maintained
Version: 3.0 releases (2020-12-30)
Language: English
Website: https://www.systemed.net/potlatch
Source code: systemed/potlatch3
Programming language: ActionScript

Intermediate-level editing software

Potlatch is an OpenStreetMap editor for Mac and Windows desktop.

The current version is 3.0 which runs as a desktop application.[1] Previous versions (2.x, 1.x) ran as in-browser editors on openstreetmap.org using Adobe Flash Player.

You can download the latest version at https://www.systemed.net/potlatch.

Potlatch's distinguishing characteristic is that it's extraordinarily ergonomic for moderately familiar users, without ever having too complex an interface. With a handful of keyboard shortcuts you can zip about the map and perform common editing actions efficiently: for example, you can skip 10 nodes back/forward along a way with one keypress, jump to the other end of the way with another, then assign a set of multiple tags to the way (which you've previously recorded) with another single keypress[2].

As yet, Potlatch does not run reliably on Linux systems due to Adobe AIR for Linux being discontinued. However, it will reportedly run under Wine.[3]

Development of 3.0 was supported financially by the OpenStreetMap Foundation.[4]

Keyboard shortcuts

Cheat sheet of Potlatch keyboard shortcuts

At present, shortcuts may vary or be non-functional for non-UK/US keyboards.

Moving around the map

  • Cursor keys to move one step at a time.
  • Page Up and Page Down to zoom in/out.


  • Click on a blank area to start a new line.
  • Double-click on a blank area to insert a new point of interest.
  • Esc to cancel an edit or a new line.
  • Z to undo.
  • When drawing a line:
    • Enter to stop drawing a line.
    • Del to remove the previous point.
  • When a way is selected:
    • Shift+Click on this way to insert a new point.
    • Control+Click on another way to merge them, if they share an end-point. (Command/Apple key on a Mac.)
    • Shift+Click on the relation button to add the way to the last used relation.
    • Del to delete an entire way.
    • P to create parallel ways.
    • T to straighten a way - especially useful in grid systems. If used on a closed way, makes it into a smooth circle.
  • When a point is selected:
    • Click an end-point to extend the way.
    • X to split a way.
    • Del to delete a point.
    • - to remove a point from the current way only.
    • Shift+Click to start a new way from this point.
    • / to select another way which shares this point (useful for ways 'hidden' under other ways).
      • Note: If using an internationalized keyboard, you might need to use the '/ or ÷ at the numeric keyboard. (And if you use a laptop you will perhaps need to press Fn-/ or Fn-÷ , usually printed in some color.)
  • K to lock or unlock a way/POI.
  • S to save your changes and add a commit message (if editing with save).
  • C to close the changeset (and add a commit message if editing live).

Map display

  • Function keys to select background:
    • F1 to turn background off.
    • F2 for Yahoo! Aerial Imagery.
    • F3 for OSM Mapnik layer
    • F4 for OSM Osmarender layer
    • F5 for OSM Maplint (errors) layer
    • F6 for Cycle map
    • F7 for out-of-copyright map
    • Hold Shift to make it lighter.
  • g to load GPS data for current area.
  • Shift+G to load GPS data from current user only for current area.
  • Hold Space while dragging to move the background imagery only (if it's misaligned).
  • L to show the latitude and longitude of the current mouse position.
  • Caps Lock or D to make ways and POIs a light, translucent colour (useful for seeing the background).
  • M to minimise/maximise the editor (fill the entire browser window).


  • + or = to add new key/value.
  • r to repeat last attributes.
  • Shift+R to repeat last attributes but ignore name/ref.
  • 19 to select a preset from the menu.
  • § or ' or ` to cycle between preset menus.
  • B to add a source tag based on the current background.
  • N to go straight to the name tag (adding one if it's not there already).

Tags/attributes memory

  • Ctrl+Alt+1Ctrl+Alt+9 add preset tags to memory 1-9
Example: set bridge=yes and layer=1 on a way and press Ctrl+Alt+1 to save it to memory 1 (via cookie)
  • Shift+1 Shift+9 use preset tags previously saved to memory 1-9
Example: Shift+1 to set tags from memory 1 on a selected way or node


  • H to show history of the selected way, and revert to a previous version.
  • U to show deleted ways, and optionally undelete them.

Initial development

Potlatch 3 is the successor of Potlatch 2. It uses a different technology stack, because the Adobe Flash was discontinued. The OpenStreetMap foundation financially supported the major redesign.[2][5][6] The first beta version was announced on 18 December 2020.[7] A full version was announced on 1 January 2021.[1]

The Potlatch 3 source code is open source and available from GitHub.