Importing an *.osm or *.pbf file


All examples and tutorials expect the OSM export files and resulting databases to be placed in the maps/ sub directory.

Say, you are using the nordrhein-westfalen.osm.pbf file from Geofabrik.

Download the file and rename it to nordrhein-westfalen.osm.pbf and place it in the maps sub directory:

  $ ls maps/

In the following text nordrhein-westfalen is the paceholder for the base name (without the suffix) of your import data file.

The examples and the in general assume that the Importer tool can be called as ../Import/src/Import (from the maps sub directory). Depending on the actual build process the resulting executable file name and its path may differ.

Using the bash script

Under Unix-like systems you can use the bash script in the maps/ sub directory. Go into this directory and call the script from there as follows:

  $ ./ nordrhein-westfalen.osm.pbf

The advantanges of the script are:

Calling the importer by hand

You can also call the importer by hand. The minimum command line would be

  $ .../Import/src/Import  \
    --typefile ../stylesheets/map.ost \
    --destinationDirectory nordrhein-westfalen \

Crop land and sea by data polygon

When you plan to use multiple maps (databases) or combine map with other sources (render it on top of online map for example), it is usefull to crop land and sea by some polygon. In case of data substract from Geofabrik, there are such polygons available in .poly format, for example nordrhein-westfalen.poly. You can use these polygon files directly as Import tool input beside standard data file.

  $ .../Import/src/Import  \
    --typefile ../stylesheets/map.ost \
    --destinationDirectory nordrhein-westfalen \
    nordrhein-westfalen.osm.pbf nordrhein-westfalen.poly

Italy without defined data polygon:

Italy imported without data polygon

With data polygon:

Italy imported with data polygon

Adding contour lines

Some years ago, Nasa released data from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission ( for public use. After some preprocessing can be those data used for creating nice maps with contour lines.

Map with contour lines

Required tools

Main tool for generating contour lines in OSM compatible format is Srtm2Osm.

Following steps are for Ubuntu 16.04.

sudo apt-get install wget unzip mono-runtime libmono-system-web-extensions4.0-cil
chmod +x


Like previous examples, this one is using nordrhein-westfalen region.

BBOX=`./ nordrhein-westfalen.poly | awk -F '[= ]' '{print $8" "$2" "$6" "$4}'`

mono Srtm2Osm/Srtm2Osm.exe \
  -incrementid -firstnodeid $(( 1 << 33 )) -firstwayid $(( 1 << 33 )) \
  -cat 400 100 \
  -bounds1 $BBOX \
  -large \
  -maxwaynodes 256 \
  -o nordrhein-westfalen-contours.osm

Then, use both files nordrhein-westfalen-contours.osm and nordrhein-westfalen-latest.osm.pbf as input of Import tool.

Data notes

Srtm2Osm downloads SRTMv2 data set from Nasa automatically. This dataset has poor quality in mountainous areas like Alps. For such areas is better to download elevation data from another source, for example that is using interpolations from more sources and it is free for non-commercial usage. You just need to unpack downloaded archives and copy *.hgt files into srtm/SrtmCache subdirectory (relative to directory where will be Srtm2Osm executed).

Resulting database

The importer uses a number of import steps (currently 24) to generate a custom database consisting of several data and index files.

Each step print itself with a header showing its running number, its name, a short description of the task of the step, the dependend files and the files generated. - announces a task, % prints the progress in relation to the current task, WW introduces warnings and !! introduces errors.

+ Step #3 - CoordDataGenerator...
   Module description: Generate coord data file
   Module requires file 'rawcoords.dat'
   Module provides debugging file 'coord.dat'
 - Searching for duplicate coordinates...
   Searching for coordinates with page id >= 0
   % 27.42 (15078926/54994116)
   % 69.74 (38352393/54994116)
   Sorting coordinates
   Detect duplicates
   Loaded 54994116 coords (54994116/54994116)
   Found 358622 duplicate cordinates
 - Storing coordinates...
   Search for coordinates with page id >= -1844674407370
   % 91.30 (50207143/54994116)
   Sorting coordinates
   Write coordinates
   Loaded 54994116 coords (54994116/54994116)
 - Writing 2855797 index entries to disk...
   => 66.044s, RSS 2.8 GiB, VM 4.8 GiB

At the end of the import process the file size of the (major) resulting files is dumped:

     Overall 833.727s, RSS 3.6 GiB, VM 7.8 GiB
+ Summary...
   Mandatory files:
   File areaarea.idx: 5.9 MiB
   File areanode.idx: 3.4 MiB
   File areas.dat: 189.5 MiB
   File areaway.idx: 2.7 MiB
   File bounding.dat: 14 B
   File intersections.dat: 27.8 MiB
   File intersections.idx: 8.6 MiB
   File location.idx: 17.9 MiB
   File nodes.dat: 11.7 MiB
   File router.dat: 92.5 MiB
   File router.idx: 8.6 MiB
   File router2.dat: 1.2 KiB
   File types.dat: 24.9 KiB
   File water.idx: 496.2 KiB
   File ways.dat: 62.7 MiB
   => 431.8 MiB
   Optional files:
   File areasopt.dat: 1.9 MiB
   File textloc.dat: 2.4 MiB
   File textother.dat: 2.5 MiB
   File textpoi.dat: 1.3 MiB
   File textregion.dat: 107.6 KiB
   File waysopt.dat: 2.9 MiB
   => 11.1 MiB
   Import OK!

Optimizing the import process


Optimizing the resulting database