Migrating From iD to JOSM

What is different

JOSM uses right mouse drag to pan a map

In JOSM, you drag with the right mouse button to pan around. This is unlike and most other editors.

You have to download OSM data manually

It is necessary to get data first: Introduction#Downloading.

There is continuosDownload plugin, but you still have to download area at least once (and then continuosDownload will automatically fetch data for you).

To prevent "loading" progress bars, refer to preferences menu or simply set Advanced preferences plugin.continuos_download.quiet_download to true

Imagery won't be enabled automatically

There is black background in JOSM by default. It will be so until you add an imagery layer.

if you rely on imagery, not on GPX data, not on previous OSM data, you need to select at least one imagery: "Enable aerial imagery" in Introduction.

Searching in presets

Text search accessible via F3 key, Search presets. "Presets" in Introduction.

Complete preset view

Presets are always collapsed, you need to click them each time, it was explained in Introduction.

Tags/Memberships panel is less suggestive than fields in iD

source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/propertiesdialog.svg Tags/Memberships panel

11 "fields" from iD + name=* tag always suggested when an object is selected:

iD will suggest 11 fields +name=* always

JOSM will show only relevant presets for main tags:

one preset because only one "main" tag was added

As alternative:

You have to read OSM wiki to look up tag definitions

JOSM doesn't show translated definitions from wiki, so you have to know tags and their definitions.

You can open page of the tag:

  1. select a tag(s) (in Tags/Memberships panel) then press F1
  2. link "More information of this feature" displayed within each preset, but you have to open respective preset first. NOTE: you cannot lookup tags of minor tag from a preset(s) (e.g. lit=* definition from a motorway preset is inaccessible, but pressing F1 at lit=* tag in Tags/Memberships panel is still lead you to a respective wiki page)

By default, JOSM has limited support for turn restrictions

You can install turnrestrictions that fixes situation. But some JOSM users still consider iD tool as more ergonomic and intuitive to use.

In JOSM, you can modify multiple objects simultaneously

  • In iD, you cannot set tags to 1000 untagged nodes even after you selected them. Search in presets and "tage" menu will disappear. In JOSM, you can apply presets and tags at any second.
  • iD will also prevent you from editing single tag of multiple objects at once because of it's "simple UI". You can add/correct/update tags to 10 or 1000 objects at once after you selected them (using one of dozens tools).
  • You can replace and correct geometry of multiple objects at once (there is Q tool, but you should look for geometry replacement tools in plugins).
  • In iD, you have to apply all geometry tools one by one (in most cases). In JOSM, often you can apply single geometry tool to multiple objects.

JOSM is also an offline editor

In simplest case, it is possible to Ctrl+O Open file and Ctrl+S Save file with temporary edits. But there are many more tools.

You can undelete "removed" objects and (partially) revert a changeset(s)

Yes, JOSM has many more features in general, but these two are unavoidable to correct erroneous changesets.

Background menu (B)

Background transparency

You can set a opacity per each imagery layer using "Visibility" button.

Aerial imagery

Locator overlay

Named "Locator Overlay" in JOSM. Can be Installed as any background.

OpenStreetMap traces

Can be downloaded using source:trunk/resources/images/download.svg from OSM Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+↓


minimap is a panel in JOSM.

Fix alignment

Simplest alternative is to use Help/Action/ImageryAdjust or install a dedicated plugin for imagery offsets.

Map data menu (F)

Mapillary images and traffic signs

Images can be accesses via Mapillary plugin. (TODO: explain and add link here)

Local GPX file

Can be opened:

  1. using "File > Open" (GPX file or its archived version)
  2. simply drag and drop GPX file over running JOSM

Fill areas

  1. Full fill: use source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/mappaint/wireframe_small.svg Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+W to toggle between wireframe and mappaint mode
  2. Partial fill: enabled by default.
  3. No Fill (Wireframe): use source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/mappaint/wireframe_small.svg Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+W to toggle between wireframe and mappaint mode

Map features

There is no direct analogue, but functionality could be emulated using Filter panel source:trunk/resources/images/dialogs/filter.svg Keyboard shortcut: Alt+Shift+F

Relevant part of iD source code. TODO: create a config for simpler re-use.


Unfortunately, JOSM shortcuts are different from iD. Here is some details:

Topic or iD function or a shortcut Activation comment JOSM material
move one node over another (iD will merge two nodes and glues tag values using ";") differ exact analogue M Merge. In JOSM terms, iD will automatically select "all" during conflict with "Merge" tool alternative activation is to hold "Ctrl" when simply moving objects
move node over existing way differ exact analogue N Join point into a way segment
1, "add point" differ exact analogue A+Shift, Shift modifier
Panel with presets and search differ exact analogue F3 will search in the presets, Presets were covered in the Introduction
2, "add line" differ exact analogue A Draw
2, "add line", snapping to nodes and lines disabled when you hold "Alt" differ exact analogue A while holding Ctrl Ctrl modifier
2, "add line", hold Spacebar differ exact analogue Shift+F Fast Draw mode
3, "add area" differ similar tools A Draw (in most cases, draw a closed way) or Ctrl+B Create a multi-polygon out of multiple ways
3, "add area", hold Spacebar differ exact analogue Shift+F Fast Draw mode
A, continue drawing a line at the selected node same exact analogue A Standard mode
B (background layer switcher) differ exact analogue Imagery menu, and be configured in Imagery preferences
C, combines selected objects (two nodes) differ exact analogue Merge Nodes M
C, combines selected objects (one node and a line) No analogue: tags from a node will be appended using ";" if there are district values)
C, combines selected objects (two lines with a common node) same exact analogue Combine Ways C
C, combines selected objects, other cases differ similar tools Ctrl+B Create a multi-polygon
D, unjoins the associated lines differ similar tools G Unglue ways, there is tool for relations
Ctrl+C, copy the selected object same exact analogue Ctrl+C copy the selected object
Ctrl+V, paste a previously copied object same exact analogue Ctrl+V Paste from buffer
M, move objects differ exact analogue Shift+←, Shift+↑, Shift+→, Shift+↓ or simply using mouse drag
O, circle same exact analogue O Align nodes in circle
R, rotate object differ exact analogue Shift+Ctrl+ mouse move to rotate objects
T, flip; 2.1.0
Y, flip; 2.1.0
S, straighten the selected line, or square the corners differ similar tools Q Orthogonalize Shape, L Align nodes into a straight line, X extrude tool, A A angle snapping mode and [wikitr/Help#JOSMtools several others]
H, show help differ exact analogue F1 show help menu
V, reverse ways differ exact analogue R Reverse Way
W, toggle wireframe mode differ exact analogue Ctrl+W Toggle between wireframe and mappaint mode
Ctrl+Z same exact analogue Ctrl+Z Undo
Ctrl+Y same exact analogue Ctrl+Y Redo
Ctrl+S differ exact analogue Ctrl+Shift+↑ Upload to main server
X, split line differ similar tools P Split Way is more restrictive, requires more actions
Ctrl + + differ similar tools Ctrl+J Opens the Jump To Position dialog or Ctrl+L Open location
Ctrl + - differ similar tools 1 Zoom to data, 2 Zoom to layer, 3 Zoom to selection and others
Ctrl+Delete or Ctrl+Backspace differ exact analogue Delete Delete
Alt+Mouse click differ exact analogue A+Ctrl place node without connecting to existing object
Shift+Mouse click at each object same exact analogue Shift+mouse click to select multiple objects
Shift+Draw a loop around objects differ exact analogue Simply draw a loop using mouse: lasso tool
Escape stop drawing of a line or area same exact analogue Escape also unselect all selected elements
/, toggle minimap differ exact analogue minimap
+, zoom in same exact analogue + Zoom in, but there are more tools
-, zoom out same exact analogue - Zoom out, but there are more tools
, , , pan map differ similar tools Ctrl+←, Ctrl+↑, Ctrl+→, Ctrl+↓ move viewport
pan one screen at time:
Ctrl+←, Ctrl+↑, Ctrl+→, Ctrl+↓ or
Shift+←, Shift+↑, Shift+→, Shift+↓
switch between backgrounds Ctrl+B differ similar tools JOSM is more complex but also more flexible: Toggle and switch between first/last 10 layers of Layer List panel


Tools to edit relations

Multipolygon relations

One day you will encounter multipolygons. Please don't be afraid of this big page, there is slightly outdated guide (ignore tagging) with decent illustrations.

URL parameters

Excluding other regular JOSM tools:

Last modified 11 months ago Last modified on 2020-03-23T16:31:49+01:00

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