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I have downloaded shapefiles from I am after Czech and Slovak republic data, when I look into the files with any shapefiles viewer the name values have odd characters instead of diacritics. I would like to know what encoding is the underlying data in so I could transform it to Unicode or the proper character set.

Thanks for any advice.

asked 13 Jan '11, 16:26

Tomas%20Pajonk's gravatar image

Tomas Pajonk
accept rate: 0%

The shapefiles on are not an official OSM service, and the general OSM community would not know, nor be able to influence, the process that builds them.

Having said that, however, the shape files use UTF-8 encoding like the rest of OSM does. Depending on what system you are using, you should be able to process them correctly if you add a .cpg file like so:

 echo "UTF-8" > nameofshapefile.cpg
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answered 13 Jan '11, 16:52

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

This may be a very daft question. Where can I find the official OSM service ?

(13 Jan '11, 18:15) Tomas Pajonk

There is no export of shapefiles made by There are other ways of solving this e.g. using PostgreSQL + PostGIS, which is as close to a standard way of reading OSM data in GIS applications as you can come.

(14 Jan '11, 00:33) emj

Thanks for this. I got confused by the sentence that geofabrik isn't an official service, thinking there may be one.

(14 Jan '11, 08:06) Tomas Pajonk

Openstreetmap uses Unicode in UTF-8 encoding. The shapefiles however are not the native format of Openstreetmap and could be in some other encoding. Either check if they decode correctly using UTF-8 or check with the geofabrik guys.

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answered 13 Jan '11, 17:12

petschge's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Seems like you might use for the Czech republic.

Taken from -> Regional extract sources.

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answered 02 Mar '15, 02:51

mkonecny's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 13 Jan '11, 16:26

question was seen: 10,258 times

last updated: 02 Mar '15, 02:51

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum