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So, I recently did a bike tour in Morocco. Many sections of the roads we were traveling on have been re-routed, straightening out curves, changing the course through mountain passes and smoothing out small ups and downs. I have the whole route that I rode as a GPX file, created using GPS Visualizer from the Garmin FIT activity files. I uploaded the trace and and proceeded to try and change the route of the road sections that have been changed.

There are currently hundreds of control points on every small section of road and and editing them is extremely difficult. Is there an easier way to just tell the editor to re-contour a section of road to follow a trace, or is moving each control point, one at a time, the only way?

I made a few fixes, but it was just too difficult and I gave up.


asked 30 Oct '22, 23:27

AIT%20Mike's gravatar image

AIT Mike
accept rate: 0%

If you're using JOSM, there is a plugin that I use constantly for moving nodes (control points?) in order to realign highways, lake shores, coastlines, or indeed any string of nodes. It works beautifully for such tasks. It's the Improve Way Accuracy plugin.

Once installed it's invoked by pressing W on your keyboard. You reposition a node by clicking the mouse near it but in the new position. There are "helper lines" that indicate the active node (the one having the focus). To remove a node, press Alt-Click when your mouse pointer is near it, to add a new bode, Ctrl-Click. With a little practice, you can move your mouse along the highway very quickly, clicking as you go.

When finished, press S to return to normal editing mode

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answered 31 Oct '22, 00:23

AlaskaDave's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

edited 31 Oct '22, 00:24

I am not using JOSM. I am using the online editor at I am not a dedicated OSM editor. I've made a few corrections in my town over the years and thought I would try fixing this stuff. Thanks, but probably not going to download and learn JOSM.

(31 Oct '22, 10:35) AIT Mike

If the old route is still visible on imagery it might be OK to:

  1. Split the road at the points where each of the improvements start and end,
  2. Draw a new roadway for the new construction between the split points and copy the tags across from the old way. iD displays these near the bottom of the left panel and can show them as plain text if you click the "cursor" icon.
  3. Prefix the old route's main tag as demolished:[old tag].

OSM generally doesn't record things that you can no longer see evidence of, but if traces remain the demolished prefix is generally acceptable, and is often tolerated where no visible evidence remains but people are still likely to re-edd from old imagery.

If the commonly used imagery has been updated and you can't see the remains of the old route on the ground then you can follow the steps above but delete the old segments and combine the old and new roadway bits to create a single way that hopefully retains the way history.

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answered 31 Oct '22, 12:38

InsertUser's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 31 Oct '22, 12:39


That sounds like a good plan and I will give that a try. The imagery still shows the old road. On the ground, there are remnants of the old road everywhere.

I don't have time today, but will get to this in the next couple of days and post my results here.


(31 Oct '22, 12:45) AIT Mike


You can also delete all the node in a curve, and re-create only the necessary ones.


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answered 31 Oct '22, 07:25

H_mlet's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

Unless there's some way to mark a section of road and say "delete all nodes", deleting the nodes one by one is just as painful as moving them.

(31 Oct '22, 10:37) AIT Mike

In josm I use the lasso selection tool for this kind of tasks... But I'm not sure about iD (the default editor on


(31 Oct '22, 12:55) H_mlet

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question asked: 30 Oct '22, 23:27

question was seen: 601 times

last updated: 31 Oct '22, 12:55

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