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UserActivity is a program that compares two osm files and compiles a usage report which can be used to review changes that took place within a defined area over time interval between the files. The program can be used to review edits by different contributors, and can be used when investigating possible vandalism and other mistakes.

The program has some similarities to osmdiff but there are also differences. useractivity has a number of improvements. It has short html pages and more details in the map if required. osmdiff is more detailed in html and shows every change in the map, but not the level of details.


perl file1.osm file2.osm out.htm Mod [numTopUsers] [picSize]
  • file 1 = older file
  • file 2 = newer file
  • out.htm = name of output file (PNG and other file names are derived from this name)
  • Mode (N=normal, P=picture/map, PD=detailed picture/map, S=also write SVG)
    • Mode N can be applied to all osm files no matter what size, memory usage is minimal.
    • Mode P should only be applied to osm files of reasonable size!
  • numTopUsers = max number of positions in top lists
  • picSize (number of pixels in width of picture/map)

PNG output

PNGs initially created by useractivity may lack some characters. You will see question marks instead.

To overcome this issue, specify to output SVG file as well (mode S). Then you may use Inkscape to render the SVG to PNG, like this:

inkscape -e map.png map.svg

Sample map outputs


  • cover nodes
  • cover ways
  • draw pictures (Mode P)
  • draw even more details into map (Mode PD)
  • SVG support (Mode S)
  • user operation time analysis (in separate file)
  • black and white lists
Wishes, suggestions, plans
  • cover relations
  • better distinction between add, change and removal of tags
  • uids for tracking


  • black and white lists with ACTIVE black listed users
  • "age" of users - list of newest users
  • timetables of user activity - 24 1h blocks (separate file - not published by Gary68 because of privacy issues)
  • deleted nodes and list of deleted nodes which had tags (with links to history)
  • moved nodes by user
  • moved nodes total distance by user
  • moved nodes average distance by user
  • moved nodes maximum distance by user
  • size work area of users
  • number of tags added by user
  • number of objects renamed by user
  • number of objects reclassified by user
  • detailed rename list of all renamed nodes
  • detailed reclassify list of all renamed nodes
  • number tags deleted per user (not counting created_by)
  • tags removed by users with count
  • user ids are hyperlinked to osm user page
  • number ways added per user
  • list of deleted nodes (only those which had tags)
  • list of deleted ways (only those which had tags)


Have a look at ViewBigPictures first...

currently there are no up to date reports available