Monday, August 12, 2013

Doing "Bulk Imports" to OpenStreetMap

Uploading existing datasets of any significant size ("bulk imports") to OpenStreetMap involves serious consideration, above that of ordinary updates and edits.

I have done bulk imports to OSM before for UD/Newark Data.  I used shp2osm ( to convert from shapefile to osm format and then used JOSM ( to compare to osm data, edit where needed, and upload the data/changes.

Here is a comprehensive page on doing bulk imports:

OSM gives priority to smaller edits, as part of its grassroots philosophy.  Partially because of this, it's important to tread lightly when doing bulk updates.  That's why I like JOSM. I can see the existing data and how my updates will change that (if so) or potentially create duplicates.  The imports guidelines link ( is especially helpful in understanding norms and rules for updates.

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