Update OSM data

Sep 1, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Now after I have managed to load the data and symbolize/attribute the features I am wondering how to update the data ? I must admit I am not quite familiar with geodatabases, maybe I can just load the new file and evrything (should) be updated automatically (with symbols and evrything) ? Anyone has any experience with updating ? I am a bit afraid to destroy all the hard work of days while loading a new file. That happen to me with a nother extension for german nas data, it just kills all the data in the geodatabase while loading a new file....Thanks for any advice,


Sep 1, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Hello Richard,

No worries about being familiar with the geodatabases... are you familiar with how to use the standard ArcGIS Editing tools (see http://help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/A_quick_tour_of_editing/001t00000002000000/)? The ArcGIS Editor for OSM workflow for updates is typically the following:  1) zoom to an area of interest, 2) use the "download and symbolize OSM data" tool to download OSM data and symbolize it in your mxd, 3) use standard ArcGIS Editing tools to edit the data (e.g., Start editing, make edits, save edits, stop editing), 4) use the "Upload OSM Data" tool to upload the edits back to OSM.

The edits you make are tracked in a revision table... you can see the revision table by adding it to your map document. It typically resides in the same location as the feature classes created when you run the Download and Symbolize OSM Data tool.  Edits you make to the OSM feature classes in your document should be captured in the revision table; if not, try running the Add OSM Extension tool on the pts, then lines, then polygon feature classes and then editing.

When you Upload OSM data back to OSM, it should update OSM with revisions - added features, moved features,  deleted features, and updated attributes.  If you change the symbology of the feature in your map document, that is not going to change its symbology in OSM, as the way things are symbolized in ArcMap is a presentation of the underlying data from/to OSM.

Let me know if this helps.


Sep 2, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Hello Christine,

thank you for your reply. I think I must explain a bit about my use of the osm data. I mainly will use it as a background map for visualisation and analyze the data for my working (regional planning). Not really the "target group" of this extension, I know :-).

For this I need a whole region (about 2.840 km²) and would like to have it updated (the whole data) lets say evry two or three month. I have managed to download the whole country "saxony-anhalt", clip the region with an external tool (Global Mapper) and then import/symbolize/attribute it in ArcGIS Desktop with is my main tool for analyzing and visualization.

Under this circumstances zooming into a small part and then update it is not practicable. By the way at the moment it did not even work in my working environment (getting an error message while trying to connect). I have not tried to solve the problem because it wont really help me this way and I was very busy getting things done so far (as I mentioned in my first post).

From this background I was just thinking about if it would be possible to update (like an "incremental" data update) for the whole data with a new OSM-file from geofabrik in lets say four weeks without loosing the symbolisation and attributation ?

Kind regards,


P.S.: Maybe I could help in updating the OSM database with some parts of the results of my working, problem is that the origin data is often protected but I will see, maybe my own interpreted dat could help but thats a long way from now

Sep 7, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Hello Richard,

Thanks for describing your project. It sounds to me that perhaps setting up a web service that can be synchronized with OSM at intervals may meet your needs?  We've been working on a feature service component where users can specify an area, download that data from OSM, and have a feature service created that synchronizes edits from the service back to OSM and/or receives updates from OSM.  Users can set the time increment for the synchronization.

The feature service data is still restricted to the smaller space, as there is a general restriction for how many nodes one can download from OSM at a time. However, you could create a few of these feature services to represent the area you want to cover. The services would be consumable with a variety of clients - desktop GIS, Flex/Silverlight/JavaScript map viewers on the desktop, iPad, etc.  How the feature service is rendered is a function of the template MXD used for the service, which you could customize so as not to lose your symbolization.

What do you think?