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OpenStreetMap Quickstart



JOSM (Java OpenStreetMap Editor) is an editor for OpenStreetMap (OSM) written in Java. The current version supports stand alone GPX tracks, GPX track data from OSM database and existing nodes, line segments and metadata tags from the OSM database.

The JOSM plugin collection contains the following plugins:

  • agpifoj - Creates a new layer with geotagged pictures.
  • colorscheme - Allows to create different color schemes.
  • livegps - Supports live GPS input together with gpsd.
  • measurement - Adds a dialog and a layer to measure length and angle of segments and create measurement paths.
  • openvisible - Allows opening gpx and osm files that intersect the currently visible screen area.
  • slippymap - Displays a slippy map grid in JOSM.
  • surveyor - Allows adding markers/nodes on current gps positions.
  • utilsplugin - Several helper utilities.
  • validator - Data validator.
  • wmsplugin - Displays background images from any WMS source.

Further reading


Merkaartor is a map editor for OpenStreetMap which uses the Qt toolkit. It’s a bit more user friendly than JOSM, but has a few less features.


Gosmore is a OpenStreetMap viewer, wayfinder, and search client with support for speech synthesis and fetching the current user’s current GPS location using gpsd.

Import it with:

bzip2 -dc /usr/local/share/data/osm/feature_city.osm.bz2 | gosmore rebuild

This will create gosmore.pak.


Osmarender is a rule-based rendering tool for generating SVG images of OSM data. It takes as its input an OpenStreetMap dataset and a rules file. It outputs an SVG image that is marked up in accordance with the styles defined in the rule file.



This requires approx. 1 GB free RAM and takes a few days to process the full city. A single village or suburb extract should be much more manageable. See Xapi in the OSM Wiki for details on how to download smaller chunks into an .osm file, or use JOSM or Merkaartor to download a smaller chunk.

cp /usr/local/share/data/osm/feature_city.osm.bz2 .
bzip2 -d feature_city.osm.bz2
osmarender feature_city.osm

You can view the results in a SVG viewer like Inkscape or Firefox:

firefox feature_city.svg


osm2pgsql is a utility program that converts OpenStreetMap (.OSM) data into a format that can be loaded into PostgreSQL (PostGIS). It is often used to render OSM data visually using Mapnik, as Mapnik can query PostgreSQL for map data, but does not work directly with OSM files.

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