Hello All,

I am a contractor for the Arkansas Geographic Information Office(AGIO) and I was asked to get the most up-to-date road file imported into OSM. This dataset is the most inclusive dataset the state has to offer and was compiled by submissions from each of the 75 counties here in Arkansas. I just need to know how to import the data.

Thanks you,

Damian M. Coleman, GISP

asked 02 Jan '13, 22:24

DamianAGIO's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 03 Jan '13, 00:35

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


You should know that imports are not universally welcome in OSM; imports are not impossible but they are not our usual way of data acquisition. OSM values the work of its volunteer contributors highly, and would not usually replace or preempt such work through a data import. Roughly speaking, an import is a social as well as a technical challenge. You will first have to build a consensus about whether OSM wants the data imported at all, and if that happens, then you will have to think about how to import the data without damaging or duplicating that which is already there. (Simply deleting all existing road centerlines in Arkansas and replacing them would be totally unacceptable to the community.)

On a "whole state" scale, even the preparation for such an import would very likely take several months.

You will find more about the topic of imports if you type "import" in the search box above and read some of the responses, or subscribe to the talk-us mailing list and raise the issue there.

It is usually easier, and certainly less of a contentious issue, if instead of importing a data set into OSM outright, you make it available in a form that our mappers and other volunteers can then use; this might be a WMS from which to trace missing bits or correct those that might be wrong, or it could be a publicly accessible shape file that volunteers can then automatically match against OSM and thereby spot differences. Not every such difference would necessarily point to an error in OSM, and the best way to deal with them would be to survey the area or evaluate suitable aerial imagery to find out who's right.

permanent link

answered 03 Jan '13, 00:19

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 24%

edited 04 Jan '13, 21:08

The biggest problem with a direct import is that major Arkansas roads have seen hundreds of hours of labor invested in creating the routing network, improving alignment, and tagging attributes. Minor roads have been manually improved in selected areas. Any use of the improved state data must preserve the existing work.

One answer is to selectively use the "Replace Geometry" tool from JOSM's Utils Plugin 2 while copying road by road from the official state data loaded into another layer. However, this does not preserve the endpoint connectivity. The official state data tagging would need to be reviewed for proper conversion from shapefiles to conform to OSM standards - for example to remove abbreviations and proper use of upper and lower case.

The problem of how to ease use of updated road network data is quite advanced, and exists at varying levels in many counties across the US. The best solution would be a dedicated editor plugin that allows updating the road geometries one by one while preserving the connectivity, existing tags, and bridges. Some of these updates would require manual intervention to correct the result and cannot be applied on a mass scale.

permanent link

answered 03 Jan '13, 12:25

Mike%20N's gravatar image

Mike N
accept rate: 17%

edited 03 Jan '13, 12:27


Just to add to this a little for someone working with traditional GIS data... I'm guessing there were thoughts of layers or such. But OSM does not have layers. There is one global dataset and everything added to OSM has to be integrated into this dataset.

Also, any import of this size must be done by someone who is extremely familiar with OSM. So the first step is to go out and spend a month mapping your neighborhood and city by hand using JOSM. Learn how OSM works. Then come back to your data and see how it fits in.

(03 Jan '13, 20:13) ToeBee
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 02 Jan '13, 22:24

question was seen: 6,426 times

last updated: 04 Jan '13, 21:08

powered by OSQA