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Loading OSM files into QGIS - loading as points instead of lines and polygons

We are a group of communities in Scotland that have been using OpenStreetMap recently to improve the geographic information relating to our local area. On OpenStreetMap, we have been making great progress (using Potlatch 2) in this:

However, we are now looking to analyse, visualise and share this information with new audiences by creating themed spatial data layers from this OpenStreetMap data. Unfortunately we have discovered upon exporting this OSM XML data and importing it into QGIS Lisboa that many of the line and polygon features (that render perfectly fine through OpenStreetMap and PotLatch) are rendered only as a series of nodes!

This is a major issue for combining the use of the OpenStreetMap platform (to improve / add geographic information) and QGIS (to manage and share this as spatial data layers). Has anyone also experienced this problem? Can anybody help offer a reason or possible solution to this problem?

- IMO OSM data are surprisingly underused for thematic mapping. I have done a fair amount of this using QGIS, mapnik and PostGIS, and would be happy to offer some help. Some of the issues involved are discussed on my blog at Maps Matter, these include density dependent mapping of POIs (pubs, toilets), landuse mapping, checking polygons etc. In the first case I would use a shapefile extract from Geofabrik rather than trying to directly use OSM ways. You can contact me at SK53 dot osm on gmail dot com or via my OSM ID. I'm also often on the osm-gb IRC channel too. SK53 (talk) 14:06, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
This is a cross post - over there in is much discussion and the root cause is found: --Aseerel4c26 (talk) 15:50, 30 March 2013 (UTC) updated 18:14, 30 March 2013 (UTC)