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In my city, there are tags with different name structure, capitalizing errors, and other issues.

I would like to modify them in order to have a common structure. I do not want to click in every vector to check the properties and then change them manually. I want something better.

My changes are the following:

Correct name:

Calle 45A

Incorrect names

 cl 45A
 Cl 45A
 CL 45A
 Calle 45a
 calle 45A
 Calle 45 A

How can I make bult changes? Like a replace('cl', 'Calle') in a zone?

asked 11 Apr '15, 19:18

AngocA's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


You cannot make such bulk changes, and even if you could, we don't usually want you to. There are a number of reasons against bulk changes (changes that happen without the person making the change actually seeing the object they are changing).

First of all, you might not be as correct as you think you are; other people in the same region might not agree with you. Therefore you have to seek agreement before making bulk changes.

Second, especially if you are new to OSM, you can easily make mistakes when bulk editing, for example, there could be a night club called "CL45A" and because you haven't thought about your process enough (and not discussed it with others), you might erroneously change that to "Calle 45A" too.

Third, bad naming and capitalisation errors can also be a good signal that more work is required in an area; someone who didn't manage to get the street names right might also have introduced a lot of other mistakes. By mass-fixing the street names you would make things look better on the surface without investing the time that the area in question might really need - better to leave things as they are until someone comes along who actually knows the area and can give it a make-over in a proper editor.

Please re-think your desire for a quick mass fix; it doesn't actually improve OSM as much as you might think. Instead, pick a small area you are familiar with, and give that area some love, with a standard editor like everyone else does. That will be much more valuable to OSM than a quick search-and-replace of street names.

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answered 11 Apr '15, 22:19

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

edited 15 Apr '15, 09:40

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦

A bulk edit can work well if done right so don't rule it out completely, but do take heed of Fred's advice as there have been too many bad bulk edits done in the past.

Talk with the local community and come up with a plan. It may well turn out that there are too many potential pitfalls to doing it on an automated basis. If so, you still have options, where you can do it in a semi automated way by using something like MapRoulette.

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answered 13 Apr '15, 15:31

DaCor's gravatar image

accept rate: 2%

Seems like the best way now is to use Level0 - in Overpass Turbo, use export - level0, get the data into the edit window, copy/paste it into your text editor, make changes, paste it back to level0, validate, and either export to JOSM (download .osm file), or upload directly if you are logged in.

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answered 01 Mar '17, 05:00

nyuriks's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%


I agree. Be cautious, though, as Frederick has advised. If you use a Find & Replace function in your editor during the Level0 phase, don't do a Replace All but rather a Find Next, then Replace, stepwise. That way you can determine if each particular value warrants editing or should be passed by. This will take longer but if you're careful very few errors will result.

(01 Mar '17, 05:24) AlaskaDave

I already managed to make an error... due to Level0 improperly escaping .osm files :( (already did a pull request, hope it will get updated soon) But it is small enough to be easily fixable :)

(01 Mar '17, 06:05) nyuriks

Please note that Overpass queries can be done from within JOSM (see This can save you a lot of hassle.

(02 Mar '17, 08:55) Hjart

@Hjart sure, but JOSM does not allow any kind of simple search/replacing. Going via Level0 allows you that.

(02 Mar '17, 09:31) nyuriks

You'll also want to consult before this kind of process, especially the "Document and discuss your plans" bit.

(02 Mar '17, 09:52) SomeoneElse ♦

The only times I've used Level0 is when I've needed to bulk edit my own additions. In one case, I had added a bunch of street names in Chiang Mai and got the English transliteration wrong. Using level0 made correcting them a snap.

(02 Mar '17, 14:04) AlaskaDave
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

The quickest way to manually go through large numbers of objects in a town sized area, checking and fixing each one as needed, is by using JOSM with the ToDo plugin.

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answered 01 Mar '17, 13:44

Hjart's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

edited 02 Mar '17, 09:01

@Hjart - which scripting plugin? Can you give an example? That would be most helpful.

(01 Mar '17, 14:22) AlaskaDave

Ok, now I have to admit that since getting correct streetnames in my country (Denmark) was always just a matter of simple cut-and-paste from our imported adresses, I never actually needed to capitalize etc much, so I was just guessing there. I've now played around with the scripting plugins a bit and found that none of them are actually suitable for this job. I do have quite some experience using the ToDo plugin though and find it quite usefull and right now I'm wondering why JOSM doesn't already have a tool to capitalize latin names. Maybe an enhancement issue should be raised for this.

(02 Mar '17, 08:47) Hjart

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question asked: 11 Apr '15, 19:18

question was seen: 7,364 times

last updated: 02 Mar '17, 14:04

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