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Just wondering whether there is any smart shortcut to optimise the following process to require less keystrokes/mouseclicks?:

To draw L-shaped building in JOSM:

  • Select the building plugin, by pressing B
  • Draw the first rectangle
  • Press S and select it (so that next rectangle is aligned in same direction)
  • Press B and draw other overlapping rectangles to describe the building shape
  • Press S and drag to select all the rectangles
  • Press Ctrl-J to join the overlapping areas

Is there any plugin, mode, or setting which can be told that you always want to join overlapping buildings, or that the default alignment is to the last building you drew?

asked 14 Sep '13, 14:32

OJW's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 14 Sep '13, 14:38

You could also use the extrude tool (x). This movie nicely shows its benefits

A slower movie, better to follow is It seems to be a bit out-dated, as you can now add nodes with the extrude tool as well, before extruding a part. Hope this help

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answered 14 Sep '13, 15:45

escada's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 20 Sep '13, 07:11


I highly recomend extrude for buildings. To draw an L-shaped building: "a", draw 1 segment, "x", extrude to rectangle, "a", add point on segment, "x", extrude to L-shape.

That's 4 key presses and 5 mouse clics. As efficient as using "q" to make any shape rectangular, but more precise.

(16 Sep '13, 00:16) Vincent de P... ♦

If you can follow that video, you're a better man than me. It looks like a wonderful method but watching it at 4X speed and with no voice explanation is like watching Roger Federer on TV and saying, now do everything just as he does.

(20 Sep '13, 03:58) AlaskaDave

Not sure if I understand but what I do for a simple L shaped building is:

  • press A for draw mode
  • draw building with 7 clicks on map (last = first)
  • press Q to make rectangular
  • click on building preset I have placed in my icon tray
  • confirm "building=yes" with enter key.

I use neither the building plugin nor "join overlapping areas".

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answered 14 Sep '13, 19:36

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

Used to use the building and/or extrusion plug ins, but found it was just as fast for me to draw a way, use the Q key command to square it up then paste the tags in. So I'm with Frederik on this one.

(15 Sep '13, 06:52) n76

It's as quick for mot things (some take more clicks, some less), but not as precise. Try making a T-shaped building for example : the two segments of the way that should be exactly alligned are unlikely to be using your technique. It's also easyer to rectify when you overshoot, and have to bring one wall a bit closer/further. Lastly, the visual feedback makes draging a way less error prone than adding a point.

That said, X and Q are just tools in the toolbox; I typically use both in any editing session.

(16 Sep '13, 09:22) Vincent de P... ♦

There's an "Auto-select building" setting under "Edit/Set buildings size" (not a very logical place in my opinion, but anyway...). It may help you tune your workflow a little bit.

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answered 15 Sep '13, 00:53

gnurk's gravatar image

accept rate: 15%

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question asked: 14 Sep '13, 14:32

question was seen: 7,384 times

last updated: 20 Sep '13, 07:11

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