"OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the whole world. It is made by people like you."

"OpenStreetMap creates and provides free geographic data such as street maps to anyone who wants them. The project was started because most maps you think of as free actually have legal or technical restrictions on their use, holding back people from using them in creative, productive, or unexpected ways."

The amount of data contained within OpenStreetMap, and their quality, is really amazing. Even though no demand data is available, the quality of the road networks makes it worth to regard OpenStreetMap as a data source for traffic simulations, especially if one is interested in multi- or inter-modal simulations.

This page describes how OpenStreetMap data can be obtained. OSM data must be converted before it can be used with Sumo (see Networks/Import/OpenStreetMap). The page OpenStreetMap file gives further general information on the data format.

Downloading a small rectangular area#

Using the osmWebWizard#

Data can be downloaded by selecting an area in the browser. In addition to downloading and building the network, demand for various traffic modes can be generated automatically.

Directly from the Browser#

Data can be downloaded comfortably at by selecting a rectangular area. However, this page limits the amount of data that can be downloaded. Depending on the data-density in the selected area this may limit the downloadable area to less than a square kilometer (although downloading a whole city may be possible).

With the Java OpenStreetMap Editor (JOSM)#

The Java OpenStreetMap Editor (JOSM) is a mature tool for handling OSM-data. It allows for comfortable downloading of rectangular areas using an interactive map. It even supports searching for an area by name (i.e. Berlin). It also supports filtering and editing of OSM Data.

Downloading a Larger Rectangular Area Using the OpenStreetMap API#

Larger amounts of OSM-data can be downloaded using a web browser or preferably with a program such as wget. For detailed information refer to the API overview

Downloading OSM-data via the API is a two step process: First you must determine the geo-coordinates for your area. Then you can download OSM-data using those coordinates.

Obtain the geo-coordinates#

You need the (longitude, latitude)-numbers for the south-west corner and for the north-east corner of your chosen area. You can get them at this page by pointing your mouse at the appropriate map location and observing the coordinates in the status bar. The inner city of Berlin lies within the following coordinates:

SW-corner: 13.278 52.473
NE-corner: 13.471 52.552

Download the area#

Construct an URI (web adress) from the geo-coordinates and download the data from that URI. The URI takes the following form:<SW-longitude,SW-latitude,NE-longitude,NE-latitude>

for the above example this becomes,52.473,13.471,52.552

you can download your data by entering the URI in a web-browers or by using another program such as wget.

wget.exe ",52.473,13.471,52.552" -O berlin.osm.xml

Important: the API version number 0.6 will eventually be outdated. Refer to the openstreetmap API page for the latest version.

Downloading a City#

Modelling a single city is a common simulation use case. OSM Overpass API provides a comfortable interface to obtain the road network and infrastructure within a city boundary (or other administrative region).

This is two step Process: First you must obtain the Id (Identification Number) of the area you want to download. Then you can use that Id to download the area.

Obtaining an area Id#

Copy the following query into the input box on the the OSM Overpass API query page. Replace Berlin by the city name of your choice and click the accompanying button "Explore".

 <query type="relation">
 <has-kv k="boundary" v="administrative"/>
 <has-kv k="name" v="Berlin"/>
 <print mode="body"/>

This will prompt you to download or open a file containing the answer to your query.

 <relation id="62422">
   <member type="way" ref="36991886" role="outer"/>
   <member type="way" ref="44020341" role="outer"/>
   <tag k="de:amtlicher_gemeindeschluessel" v="11"/>
   <tag k="TMC:cid_58:tabcd_1:LocationCode" v="266"/>
   <tag k="type" v="multipolygon"/>
   <tag k="boundary" v="administrative"/>
   <tag k="admin_level" v="4"/>
   <tag k="TMC:cid_58:tabcd_1:Class" v="Area"/>
   <tag k="name" v="Berlin"/>
   <tag k="source" v=""/>
   <tag k="TMC:cid_58:tabcd_1:LCLversion" v="9.00"/>
 <relation id="119876">
   <member type="way" ref="33628254" role="outer"/>
   <tag k="tiger:PLACEFP" v="07304"/>
   <tag k="tiger:PLACENS" v="02403860"/>
   <tag k="tiger:PLCIDFP" v="1307304"/>
   <tag k="wikipedia" v="Berlin,_Georgia"/>
   <tag k="type" v="multipolygon"/>
   <tag k="place" v="city"/>
   <tag k="boundary" v="administrative"/>
   <tag k="admin_level" v="8"/>
   <tag k="name" v="Berlin"/>
   <tag k="border_type" v="city"/>
   <tag k="created_by" v="polyshp2osm-multipoly"/>
   <tag k="source" v="TIGER/Line® 2008 Place Shapefiles ("/>
   <tag k="tiger:reviewed" v="no"/>
   <tag k="is_in:country" v="USA"/>

The important parts of result data are the <relation id="..."> elements. This id attribute will be used to download the OSM-data for your chosen city.

Important: as in the Berlin-query above, there may be multiple results. Usually the accompanying tags will be sufficiently helpful to distinguish between Berlin,Germany and Berlin,USA/Georgia. If the output does not contain the region you were looking for, it might be helpful to add the type of region e.g. Berlin, city. If problems persist read on at the OSM Overpass API site.

Downloading an area by Id#

The Id obtained in the previous step for the city of Berlin was 62422. Technically this is only the Id of the border of Berlin and we must add the number 3,600,000,000 to obtain the Id of the area of berlin. 3,600,000,000 + 62,422 = 3,600,062,422

Using this number we construct another query for an input box on the OSM Overpass API query page.

 <osm-script timeout="180" element-limit="20000000">
   <area-query ref="3600062422"/>
   <recurse type="node-relation" into="rels"/>
   <recurse type="node-way"/>
   <recurse type="way-relation"/>
   <recurse type="way-node"/>
 <print mode="body"/>

Replace the number for the <area-query ref="..."> by the number from above and click the accompanying button "Download". This will prompt you to download or open a file containing the OSM-data for your city.

Important: For large cities you may have to adapt the values for timeout and element-limit.

Downloading a very large area#

Pre-packaged Areas#

A large amount of pre-packaged areas are available at Many of these are quite large and will probably require filtering before they can be reasonably processed. Importing the whole of Germany with [netconvert] takes about 60GB of RAM!

Custom Areas#

The OpenStreetMap-API still limits the size of an area to extract. The help script located within <SUMO_HOME>/tools allows to extract a larger area by splitting the requests. The call is: <PREFIX> <BOUNDING_BOX> <TILES_NUMBER>

The bounding box must be given as <LAT_MIN>,<LONG_MIN>,<LAT_MAX>,<LONG_MAX>.


"wget" must be installed and located in the execution path.

This script will extract OSM-data as n files with n =<TILES_NUMBER>, named "<PREFIX><INDEX>_<TILES_NUMBER>.osm.xml". These files can be imported by the scripts osmBuild.Py, also located in <SUMO_HOME>/tools. This is described in Networks/Import/OpenStreetMap#Import Scripts.