DE talk:OSM-3D

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The comments on this talk page were quite old. I decided to remove everything and to compile some FAQs. If you have further questions please ask -Arne

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the software open source?

A: The 3D Viewer is called XNavigator and is open source. It is hosted on Sourceforge. Project home:

The server and update utilities are still maintained by GIScience.

Q: The updates I made yesterday are not shown in the 3D globe. What's the update interval?

A: I decided to follow a different approach of rendering terrain, landuse areas and streets. The process of creating and updating tiles is very CPU intentive. It takes 4 weeks alone to update the terrain for Europe. Partly this has to do with missing generalized OSM datasets, which we are now trying to prepare, partly due to the fact that I have just one server for this, not a cloud of servers. It takes another 4 weeks to update the street labels and other labels. The only thing that can be updated quite quickly are the buildings. I set up a small server dedicated to building updates, which can done in 3-4 days (currently. the number of buildings is rapidly increasing).

Q: How can I map 3D buildings?

A: By including height tags: height, min_height_ building:min_level, building:levels:aboveground etc. By creating multi part buildings and model them more accurately.

Q: What's the relation to osm3d at SourceForge?

A: There is none.

Q: Why is the address I entered not being found?

A: Because OpenRouteService could not find it. See OpenRouteService.

Q: Can OSM-3D data be used for other projects? How can I access it?

A: Yes. Please get in in touch with us.

Note on using the building tag

A lot of mischief has been done using building=yes or building=<building_type>. All types of things have been marked as building which definitely do not fall into this category. Examples are

  • the obelisk on the Piazza San Petro in Rome
  • statues in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris
  • Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas in Berlin
  • some pillars under bridges
  • moored ships
  • a big deal of walls
  • stone objects, monuments, pieces of art and the like

Reason is probably that the renderers Mapnik and Osmarender display buildings as filled polygons, which looks nice also for other things.

In OSM-3D however, this causes a lot of trouble. Most building don't come with height (or levels) so that I have to guess it. I think also Google Maps does this. It works quite well because most buildings have 3-5 levels in an average small 2 medium sized town. But pieces of art standing 15 meters tall look very odd. I think they should be tagged differently so I dont have to filter out all these things. Another reason against the inflationary use of building is statistics and analysis. If we collect information on urban density, built areas, or just the number of buildings in a city, we will get misleading results.

Other types of things that may be debatable include steel contructions, which can be hardly be rendered by means of solid blocks.

  • The Eiffel Tower (!)
  • Thames Barrier
  • bridges

--Aschilli 13:12, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


Why does building:levels without any additional level or height tag does not get recognized? According to the building attributes proposal this is a valid height definition just like building:levels:aboveground. Adding support for it would be nice. --Scai 15:50, 11 October 2011 (BST)

unite 3D tags

Because it points out, that some mappers have problems with tagging, I like to show this hint:

information sign

The 3D Development team are currently working on unifying 3D related tags.
For first results see Simple 3D Buildings.