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I am looking to upload a series of shapefiles to OSM. I do not want to manually digitize, for example, building footprints, but have a reliable source of building footprints to upload.

Can anyone provide guidance on how to do so, or a place that has some guidance.


asked 05 Dec '13, 19:20

HaldimandGIS's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


To be sure to understand your question correctly: Can you explain your intentions with the upload? Do you want to share them with everybody - import into the (single) OSM database? So, you want to donate them?

(05 Dec '13, 19:28) aseerel4c26 ♦

Thanks for the advice all. As a background I work in rural municipal government and we are looking at supplementing OSM with our data to create a stronger spatial dataset in OSM. So in terms of legality, we have the authority to author the data without restrictions.

(06 Dec '13, 13:56) HaldimandGIS

First of all, have a look at import on the wiki and read carefully the import guidelines. The guidelines exist to ensure that :

  • The data source can legally be imported to OSM (essentially: no copyright issue, can be relicensed as odbl, can be redistributed).
  • The import quality is correct (proper tags, geometry, etc).

Once you understand that, one way to proceed is :

  • Create a wiki page YourUserName/ImportName with all the info about your import.
  • Convert your shp files to osm format, load that into josm, review and eventually tweak it, and save the file localy.
  • Upload the osm file somewhere (not in the osm database), and link to it on the wiki page.
  • Send a message to the imports mailing list pointing to the wiki page
  • Wait for reactions and take comments into account
  • Upload your data.
  • Enjoy.
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answered 06 Dec '13, 10:10

Vincent%20de%20Phily's gravatar image

Vincent de P... ♦
accept rate: 19%


One thing to mention when you describe your proposed import - how will you handle the merging of your data with data that's already there? Even if what's already there is of lower quality (in terms of building footprints, perhaps) it possibly has tags that aren't present in the data that you're uploading. How will you merge them together?

(06 Dec '13, 14:07) SomeoneElse ♦

Shall be grateful if more detail steps can be shared. Or if the respondent has youtube video clip, that will be more helpful.

(23 Jun '21, 12:59) Pete Khatsu
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answered 06 Dec '13, 09:48

GoldenCompass's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 05 Dec '13, 19:20

question was seen: 15,029 times

last updated: 23 Jun '21, 12:59

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