Import OSM (OpenStreetMap)

An .osm file is XML based and typically used to export an extent of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) GIS service into other applications. These files typically contain georeferenced descriptions of streets, blocks, parcels, and points. OpenStreetMap is a continually evolving open standard with a strong community.

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

By default, ways and closed ways are converted into graph segments. However, if a closed way contains one of the amenity, area, boundary, building, geological, historic, land use, leisure, natural, place, shop, sport, or tourism tags it's converted into a shape with the respective symbol, Closed Way open segment or Closed way with complete loop, displayed next to it.

Import options

For OSM import, the following options are available:



Click Browse to open a dialog box and select an .osm file to import.

Element Listing

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

  • .osm files may contain a large number of layers, of which the highway layer is typically used to create street networks.
  • You can select multiple OSM layers per import session. Then, all ways that are converted into graph segments are merged into one graph layer. To generate several graph layers from one .osm file, repeat the process.

Select / deselect all

Select or deselect all layers.

Graph options


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 run on a subsequent 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 run on a subsequent wizard page.

Run Graph Cleanup Tool after Import

Depending on the OSM data, you may need to clean up the graph segments after import. If enabled, the Cleanup Graph tool is run on a subsequent wizard page.

Create Street/Intersection Shapes from Graph

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

Create Block/Lot Shapes from Graph

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

OSM tag mapping

If Map OSM tags is checked, the created layer contains the following layer attribute code:

OSM tag mapping
OSM tag mapping code is shown.

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
Street parameters and object attributes are shown.
  • You can edit the function code after import in the Inspector window when selecting the street layer.
  • You can edit the default mapping code by changing the CGA code in the osm.ceattr file in the /ce.lib/rules/ directory.
  • Presets can be saved and applied.