osmconvert Man page

OSMCONVERT(1) General Commands Manual OSMCONVERT(1)


osmconvert – Converter of OSM files


osmconvert options [input file]


This program reads different file formats of the OpenStreetMap project
and converts the data to the selected output file format.

These formats can be read:
.osm .osc .osc.gz .osh .o5m .o5c .pbf

These formats can be written:
.osm (default) .osc .osh .o5m .o5c .pbf

Names of input files must be specified as command line parameters. Use
– to read from standard input. You do not need to specify the input
formats, osmconvert will recognize them by itself. The output format
is .osm by default. If you want a different format, please specify it
using the appropriate command line parameter.



If you want to limit the geographical region, you can define a
bounding box. To do this, enter the southwestern and the north‐
eastern corners of that area. For example: -b=-0.5,51,0.5,52


Alternatively to a bounding box you can use a border polygon to
limit the geographical region. The format of a border polygon
file can be found in the OSM Wiki at Polygon_Filter_File_Format
: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Osmosis/
You do not need to strictly follow the format description, you
must ensure that every line of coordinates starts with blanks.


If applying a border box or a border polygon, all nodes the bor‐
ders are excluded; even then if they belong to a way which is
not entirely excluded because it has some nodes inside the bor‐
ders. This option will ensure that every way stays complete,
even it it intersects the borders. This will result in slower
processing, and the program will loose its ability to read from
standard input. It is recommended to use .o5m format as input
format to compensate most of the speed disadvantage.


Same as before, but multipolygons will not be cut at the borders


Some applications do not have the ability to process ways or
relations, they just accept nodes as input. However, more and
more complex object are mapped as ways or even relations in
order to get all their details into the database. Apply this
option if you want to convert ways and relations to nodes and
thereby make them available to applications which can only deal
with nodes. For each way a node is created. The way’s id is
increased by 10^15 and taken as id for the new node. The node’s
longitude and latitude are set to the way’s geographical center.
Same applies to relations, however they get 2*10^15 as id off‐


This option adds a tag with a bounding box to each object. The
tag will contain the border coordinates in this order: min Lon‐
gitude, min Latitude, max Longitude , max Latitude. e.g.:


A tag for an estimated area value for the bbox is added to each
way and each relation. The unit is square meters. For example:


This option will add the binary logarithm of the bbox area of
each way and each relation. For example:


A tag for an estimated width value for the bbox is added to each
way and each relation. The unit is meters. For example:


This option will add the binary logarithm of the bbox width of
each way and each relation. For example:


If applying the –all-to-nodes option as explained above, you
may adjust the id offset. For example: –object-type-off‐
By appending “+1” to the offset, the program will create ids in
a sequence with step 1. This might be useful if the there is a
subsequently running application which cannot process large id
numbers. Example:


Use this option if you need to delete references to nodes which
have been excluded because lying outside the borders (mandatory
for some applications, e.g. Map Composer, JOSM).


For most applications the author tags are not needed. If you
specify this option, no author information will be written: no
changeset, user or timestamp.


If you want to exclude not only the author information but also
the version number, specify this option.

–drop-nodes –drop-ways –drop-relations

According to the combination of these parameters, no members of
the referred section will be written.


Calculate difference between two files and create a new .osc or
.o5c file. There must be TWO input files and borders cannot be
applied. Both files must be sorted by object type and id. Cre‐
ated objects will appear in the output file as “modified”,
unless having version number 1.


Similar to –diff, this option calculates differences between
two OSM files. Here, to determine the differences complete OSM
objects are consulted, not only the version numbers. Unfortu‐
nately, this option strictly requires both input files to have
.o5m format.


The output file will not contain any object which exists in one
of the input files following this directive. For example: osm‐
convert input.o5m –subtract minus.o5m -o=output.o5m


Rarely .pbf files come with non-standard granularity. osmcon‐
vert will recognize this and suggest to specify the abnormal
lon/lat granularity using this command line option. Allowed
values are: 100 (default), 1000, 10000, …, 10000000.

–emulate-osmosis –emulate-pbf2osm

In case of .osm output format, the program will try to use the
same data syntax as Osmosis, resp. pbf2osm.


If you have dropped author information (–drop-author) that data
will be lost, of course. Some programs however require author
information on input although they do not need that data. For
this purpose, you can fake the author information. osmconvert
will write changeset 1, timestamp 1970.


Same as –fake-author, but – if .osm xml is used as output for‐
mat – only the version number will be written (version 1). This
is useful if you want to inspect the data with JOSM.


Some programs depend on getting longitude/latitude values, even
when the object in question shall be deleted. With this option
you can have osmconvert to fake these values:
… lat=”0″ lon=”0″ …
Note that this is for XML files only (.osc and .osh).


Display a short parameter overview.


Display this help.


Some .osc files contain different versions of one object. Use
this option to accept such duplicates on input.


Data will be written in .osm format. This is the default output


The OSM Change format will be used for output. Please note that
OSM objects which are to be deleted will be represented by their
ids only.


For every OSM object, the appropriate ‘visible’ tag will be
added to meet ‘full planet history’ specification.


The .o5m format will be used. This format has the same structure
as the conventional .osm format, but the data are stored as
binary numbers and are therefore much more compact than in .osm
format. No packing is used, so you can pack .o5m files using
every file packer you want, e.g. lzo, bz2, etc.


This is the change file format of .o5m data format. All
tags will not be performed as delete actions but converted into
.o5c data format.


For output, PBF format will be used.


A character separated list will be written to output. The
default separator is Tab, the default columns are: type, id,
name. You can change both by using the options –csv-separator=
and –csv=


Choose this option to print a headline to csv output.


You may change the default separator (Tab) to a different char‐
acter or character sequence. For example: –csv-separator=”; ”


If you want to have certain columns in your csv list, please
specify their names as shown in this example: –csv=”@id name
ref description” There are a few special column names for header
data: @otype (object type 0..2), @oname (object type name), @id
@lon, @lat, @version, @timestamp, @changeset, @uid, @user


This will be no standard output. This option is for testing pur‐
poses only.

–timestamp= –timestamp=NOW

If you want to set the OSM timestamp of your output file, supply
it with this option. Date and time must be formatted according
OSM date/time specifications. For example: –time‐
stamp=2011-01-31T23:59:30Z You also can supply a relative time
in seconds, e.g. 24h ago: –timestamp=NOW-86400


With this option set, osmconvert prints just the time stamp of
the input file, nothing else.


This option activates a statistics counter. The program will
print statistical data to stderr.


Same as –statistics, but the statistical data will be written
to standard output.


Standard output will be rerouted to the specified file. If no
output format has been specified, the program will rely on the
file name extension.


If borders are to be applied or broken references to be elimi‐
nated, osmconvert creates and uses two temporary files. This
parameter defines their name prefix. The default value is “osm‐


If you want to supply one ore more command line arguments by a
parameter file, please use this option and specify the file
name. Within the parameter file, parameters must be separated by
empty lines. Line feeds inside a parameter will be converted to
spaces. Lines starting with “// ” will be treated as comments.

-v –verbose

With activated ‘verbose’ mode, some statistical data and diagno‐
sis data will be displayed. If -v resp. –verbose is the first
parameter in the line, osmconvert will display all input parame‐

To speed-up the process, the program uses some main memory for a hash
table. By default, it uses 480 MB for storing a flag for every possible
node, 90 for the way flags, and 30 relation flags. Every byte holds
the flags for 8 ID numbers, i.e., in 480 MB the program can store 3840
million flags. As there are less than 1900 million IDs for nodes at
present (July 2012), 240 MB would suffice. So, for example, you can
decrease the hash sizes to e.g. 240, 30 and 2 MB using this option:


But keep in mind that the OSM database is continuously expanding. For
this reason the program-own default value is higher than shown in the
example, and it may be appropriate to increase it in the future. If
you do not want to bother with the details, you can enter the amount of
memory as a sum, and the program will divide it by itself. For exam‐


These 1000 MiB will be split in three parts: 800 for nodes, 150 for
ways, and 50 for relations.

Because we are taking hashes, it is not necessary to provide all the
suggested memory; the program will operate with less hash memory too.
But, in this case, the border filter will be less effective, i.e., some
ways and some relations will be left in the output file although they
should have been excluded. The maximum value the program accepts for
the hash size is 4000 MiB; If you exceed the maximum amount of memory
available on your system, the program will try to reduce this amount
and display a warning message.

There is another temporary memory space which is used only for the con‐
version of ways and relations to nodes (option –all-to-nodes). This
space is sufficient for up to 25 Mio. OSM objects, 400 MB of main mem‐
ory are needed for this purpose, 800 MB if extended option
–add-bbox-tags has been invoked. If this is not sufficient or if you
want to save memory, you can configure the maximum number of OSM
objects by yourself. For example:


The number of references per object is limited to 100,000. This will be
sufficient for all OSM files. If you are going to create your own OSM
files by converting shapefiles or other files to OSM format, this might
result in way objects with more than 100,000 nodes. For this reason you
will need to increase the maximum accordingly. Example:


When extracting a geographical region (using -b or -B), the input file
must contain the objects ordered by their type: first, all nodes, next,
all ways, followed by all relations. Within each of these sections, the
objects section must be sorted by their id in ascending order.

Usual .osm, .osc, .o5m, o5c and .pbf files adhere to this condition.
This means that you do not have to worry about this limitation. osm‐
convert will display an error message if this sequence is broken.

If a polygon file for borders is supplied, the maximum number of poly‐
gon points is about 40,000.

This program is for experimental use. Expect malfunctions and data
loss. Do not use the program in productive or commercial systems.

There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law. Please send any
bug reports to markus.weber@gmx.com

osmconvert europe.pbf –drop-author >europe.osm
osmconvert europe.pbf |gzip >europe.osm.gz
bzcat europe.osm.bz2 |./osmconvert –out-pbf >europe.pbf
osmconvert europe.pbf -B=ch.poly >switzerland.osm
osmconvert switzerland.osm –out-o5m >switzerland.o5m
osmconvert june_july.osc –out-o5c >june_july.o5c
osmconvert june.o5m june_july.o5c.gz –out-o5m >july.o5m
osmconvert sep.osm sep_oct.osc oct_nov.osc >nov.osm
osmconvert northamerica.osm southamerica.osm >americas.osm


osmfilter, osmupdate

osmconvert was written by Markus Weber

September 2013 OSMCONVERT(1)

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