Import OSM (OpenStreetMap)

OSM files are XML based and typically used to export an extent of the OpenStreetMap GIS service into other applications. An OSM file typically contains geo-referenced descriptions of streets, blocks, parcels and points. OSM is a continually evolving open standard with a strong community.

  • Nodes The dots that are used for drawing segments between.
  • Ways An ordered list of nodes, displayed as connected by line segments in the editor.
  • Closed Ways Closed ways are ways which go in a complete loop. They are used to describe areas like buildings, parks, lakes or islands.

By default, Ways and Closed Ways are converted into graph segments. However, if a Closed Way contains one of the tags amenity, area, boundary, building, geological, historic, landuse, leisure, natural, place, shop, sport, tourism, it's converted into a shape with the respective symbols, and displayed on the left side of the ways.

Import settings

The OSM import has the following options:


Press Browse to open a dialog to select a .osm file to import.

Element Listing

Lists the layers and OSM ways contained in the selected OSM file. Select the element you want to import.

  • OSM files may contain a large number of layers, of which the "highway" layer is usually the most interesting to create street networks in the CityEngine.
  • You may select multiple OSM layers per import session. Then, all ways which are converted into graph segments will be merged into one graph layer. If you would like to generate several graph layers out of one OSM file, please repeat the process accordingly.

Select / deselect all

Selects / deselects all layers.

Graph settings

Map OSM tags

If enabled, street and sidewalk widths are mapped from tags contained in the osm file. See below.

Run Generate Bridges Tool after Import

If enabled, the Generate Bridges Tool is executed on a following wizard page.

Align Graph to terrain

If enabled, OSM streets are aligned to a user defined terrain

Align Shapes to terrain

If enabled, the OSM shapes are aligned to a user defined terrain.

Run Simplify Graph Tool after Import

If enabled, the Simplify Graph Tool is executed on a following wizard page.

Run Graph Cleanup Tool after Import

Depending on the OSM data it may be necessary to cleanup the graph segments after import. If enabled, the graph cleanup tool is executed on a following wizard page.

Create Street/Intersection Shapes from Graph

If enabled, the shape creation parameter of the graph nodes and segments will be enabled and street shapes are created.

Create Block/Lot Shapes from Graph

If enabled, the shape creation parameter of potentially created street blocks will be enabled and shapes are created.

OSM Tag Mapping

If Map OSM tags to street widths is checked, the created layer will contain the following layer attribute code:

OSM tag mapping
OSM tag mapping

By default, an example function code maps common osm tags to street and sidewalk widths. The function code is copied into the newly created street layer, and the street and sidewalk width parameters of the imported street segments are correctly mapped.

OSM tags mapped to street and sidewalk widths
Polygons edge orientation
  • The function code can be edited after import in the inspector when selecting the street layer.
  • Advanced users can edit the default mapping code by changing the cga code in the file osm.ceattr, located in /ce.lib/rules/.
  • Presets can be saved and applied.