With JOSM I have just removed some tags addr:street that were set on many nodes in a city (nodes that were the corners of buildings). I did use the search and first searched for "addr:street" (in quotation marks) and then for tags=1. Then I deleted this tag.

But now I have also many unused nodes which are not part of ways. How can I search for them?

asked 28 Jul '13, 17:42

erik's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%


Please keep in mind before deleting those nodes (yes, you did not write that), to try to look why these nodes are existing (see object history, OWL's beta history tab, whodidit, …).


  • you can find newbies needing help,
  • just the tags are missing and the creating user forgot to add them (mail the user),
  • you can find other problems in the related changeset,
  • (last year, but maybe still today) that could be a surviving left-over from the redaction bot (license change) which may be an indicator that there is some feature missing (could be seen in aerial imagery sometimes).
(28 Jul '13, 18:40) aseerel4c26 ♦

Yes, it were some small buildings in a small village deleted by the redaction bot I think. As I will be there tomorrow, I will possibly create them again.

(29 Jul '13, 02:48) erik

While the OP has answered his own question, here's a simpler one-step search:

type:node untagged -child
permanent link

answered 29 Jul '13, 10:18

Vincent%20de%20Phily's gravatar image

Vincent de P... ♦
accept rate: 19%

Thank you very much for this. I suppose -child means »is no child«, am I rigth? As from the description of the JOSM search I thought that child and parent need an expression after them to which they apply. Strange …

(29 Jul '13, 15:56) erik

Your answer is covered in the JOSM wiki help page as an example (http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/JOSM/Search_function). But this page does not mention the parent token at all. And it does not cover the tokens relating to expressions written after them as seen in the JOSM program itself in the search dialog. Very strange. Is there a better reference/documentation besides the source code?

(29 Jul '13, 16:10) erik

That's how I interpret it. The "-" works for other expresions too, like "building=* -source=*". But I do not understand the feature fully, for example how to use "child" with an expresion. The documentation could do with some improvements.

(29 Jul '13, 16:16) Vincent de P... ♦

Ok, I have found a solution.

  1. First search for type:node tags:0
  2. Then search for child parent type:node and select remove from selection.


  1. Searches for all nodes which have zero tags (that includes many nodes that are part of ways).
  2. Then search for nodes which have a parent (a way). And then the child of this parent (the nodes that are part of a way). By removing these from the selection, we have only the unused orphan nodes left. Voilà.
permanent link

answered 28 Jul '13, 17:58

erik's gravatar image

accept rate: 9%

edited 28 Jul '13, 17:58

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: 28 Jul '13, 17:42

question was seen: 4,427 times

last updated: 29 Jul '13, 16:55

powered by OSQA