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File > Download from OSM

source:trunk/images/download.png Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+↓

Download data from server.

Type of Data

Different types of data can be downloaded:

The type is chosen with the check boxes at the top of the window. (It is possible to download all three types at once).

Area to download

The dialog has multiple tabs. The exact configuration of tabs may be dependent on plugins you have installed, but you will generally at least have the following five.

When switching between tabs, the area shown in each tab will be the same. So if you select a bookmark for example and switch to the slippy map tab, the area of that bookmark is shown.

Note: When the download dialog is called up with data already loaded, all fields are set to the currently visible bounding box. Thus a common use scenario is to first load your GPS track from a GPX file, then zoom the view so that the portion you wish to work on is fully visible, and then call up the download dialog which will reflect the visible area.

Slippy map

Up-to-day view of the Download dialog Slippy map provides a movable map like on the OSM front page with which you can interactively select the area to download. Only differences are that Shift+Click to zoom is not available, move the map the JOSM way by press and hold the right mouse button and select an area by press and hold the left mouse button.


A Bookmarks tab where you can select from your predefined bookmarks, or create a new bookmark from the current bounding box or the area defined in another tab respectively.

Bounding Box

A Bounding Box tab where you can set the latitude/longitude bounds of the data to be downloaded, and also paste an URL from either

  • To paste from the map on the OpenStreetMap site, zoom in to the area you are interested in, then either move the mouse over the "view" tab, and copy the resulting URL, or copy the permalink given in the bottom right corner. Then go to JOSM, and paste this URL into the "URL from" box. (In Windows to paste into the box, left click within the box, and then do CTRL+v).
  • To paste from zoom to the area you are interested in, and then copy the permalink location from the bottom right of screen, and paste as described above.

Instead of pasting the URL in the text box, you can press [CTRL]+[V] on any other tab to parse the bounds from the clipboard URL.

Area around places

On the Area around places tab you can search for specific places, street names, etc, in the OSM database. Currently there is only one server for the search availible: Nominatim. (In the past there was also Namefinder, but this service has been retired and shutdown.) After you have clicked on an search result you can switch back to the Slippy map tab (which has zoomed to the area of the search result) and adjust the bounding box.

Tile Numbers

A Tile Numbers tab where you can enter number of tiles and a zoom level to download data of those tiles. Alternatively you enter a Tile address. This might look a little awkward especially when reading how to compute the tile numbers. But sometimes it comes in handy. If you want to easily determine the tile numbers with the mouse, see this help centre question.

Area too large

To smaller the risk of a server overload the amount of data to download at once is limited.
There will be a red warning at the bottom left displayed if the selected area is too large for the server and will likely be answered with an error message. (You can try, though!)
Otherwise choose a smaller area. You can download bigger areas using several smaller ones.

Layer control

You can control whether the data is loaded into the current or in a new layer with the check box in the bottom left corner of the window:

  • if Download as new layer is selected, the data is loaded in a new layer
  • if Download as new layer is not selected, the data is loaded in the current data layer

If there isn't any data layer yet, a new data layer is always created.


Clicking on the source:/trunk/images/layer-switcher-maximize.png button on the upper right gives you the option to change the displayed map (rendering machine) for this window. The available maps are based on your Imagery preferences.

An example for the displayed selection:

  • OpenStreetMap (Mapnik)
  • Cyclemap
  • Bing Aerial Maps
  • MapQuest Open Aerial

Mirror Download Plugin

  • The XAPI query syntax is explained in the OSM wiki.

See also

Back to Menu File
Back to Main Help

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