For querying OpenStreetMap raw data, the OpenStreetMap project has been providing the Overpass API service for a couple of years. It makes it possible to query OpenStreetMap data for objects with specific tags, in a specific area or at a specific point in time.
The public Overpass API service is provided for experienced OpenStreetMap contributors. They look for erroneously or incompletely tagged objects or create special interest maps, e.g. a map of hotels. It allows them to do that without running their own PostgreSQL database and lowers the hurdles for users with limited technical knowledge to query OpenStreetMap data. The flexibility and absence of usage fees leads to a great popularity among the OpenStreetMap community – therefore the public servers are under heavy load.
Some of our customers who set up their own applications based on Overpass API have been unsatisfied with the performance of the overloaded, public Overpass API.
Overpass API allows unfiltered access to the OpenStreetMap raw data. It is suitable if you are used to the OpenStreetMap tagging system and its idiosyncrasies. Overpass API uses its own query language. Thematic and spatial extracts of small size using filter rules, which are not determined in advance, are its strength.
EarthOnDrive Overpass API services aims to
There are better alternatives for Overpass API, especially in the following two cases:
There are other methods to access OpenStreetMap data instead of using Overpass-API: