Geographic Regions

Data on the download server is organised by region. The root directory contains files that have a whole continent's data in them, and for all continents except Antartica 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 all individual counties. For France, we have all (historic) Departements. 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.

Raw data (OSM source data)

Files with the .osm.pbf suffix are OpenStreetMap raw data files in the PBF format. They are the common format for OpenStreetMap raw data and need few memory for storage. The PBF files can be updated with them. 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.


You need special software to process OSM raw data. It is usually command line and server software for Linux. Common tools to process OpenStreetMap raw data are:

  • Import into PostGIS databases: Osm2pgsql
  • Map rendering for print: Nik4, Maperitive
  • Tile servers: Tirex with mod_tile and Mapnik
  • Routing: OSRM, GraphHopper
  • Geocoding: Nominatim, Photon
  • General purpose libraries for processing: Osmium, Pyosmium, OSM4Jv

Please get in touch with us if you need consulting or commercial support.

Shape Files

Files ending in are shape files that you can process with almost any GIS software. In converting OSM data to shape files, we have made a default selection of layers containing most important layers (road and railway network, forests, water areas, many points of interest). We offer more comprehensive shape files and shape files of other regions than provided on the download server are available 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.

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