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Using and Enhancing the Free Map of the World.
By Frederik Ramm,
and Steve Chilton.
FOSSGIS 2014 19-21 March 2014 in Berlin
Our download server at http://download.geofabrik.de has excerpts and derived data from the OpenStreetMap dataset available for free download. Most of these files are updated every day – any change you upload to OpenStreetMap should be on our download server the next day.
Data on the download server is organised by region. The /openstreetmap directory contains files that have a whole continent's data in them, and for some continents there are subdirectories in which you find individual files for various countries. Some countries again have their own subdirectories with data for administrative subdivisions. For Germany, all "Bundesländer" are available as separate files, and for England we have many individual counties. For France, we have all Departements. The file for Germany's Baden-Württemberg region is, for example, at
Please let us know if you are interested in other regional excerpts that we do not offer right now – we might be able to add them with little effort.
Files ending in ".osm.bz2" are bzip2 comressed OpenStreetMap raw data files. The XML based data format is described in the OSM Protocol Version 0.6 article on the OpenStreetMap wiki. The XML DTD is available in the OSM Protocol Version 0.6/DTD article.
Processing OSM raw data requires software. You can find map renderers, editors, and converters in the subversion repository of OpenStreetMap.
Files ending in ".shp.zip" are shape files that you can process with almost any GIS software. In converting OSM data to shape files, we have made a simple default selection of layers where the most important features get exported (road and railway network, forests, water areas, some points of interest). We offer custom exports with different features – either a one-off export or regular updates – as a paid service.
All OpenStreetMap derived data on the download server is licensed under the Open Database License 1.0. You may use the data for any purpose, but you have to acknowledge OpenStreetMap as the data source. Derived databases have to retain the same license.