Multiple general use questions

May 2, 2012 at 2:27 PM

In messing around with the new tool set, I've got several basic questions about its use:

  1. Does the Data Frame coordinate system need to be set to WGS84 before uploading and while editing? Or, will the tools project as needed?
  2. For editing existing features, does it matter if you edit the underlying *_osm_ply, *_osm_ln, and *_osm_pt files or their derived themes, e.g. Building, Highway, Tourism? Can you use either?
  3. Once a set of changes is uploaded to the OSM server, can you keep making changes in the same *.mxd document? Or, should you start a new one?
  4. Any general guidance for adding data from existing geodatabases (e.g. buildings)? Procedure to make sure added correctly?



May 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM


1) There is no requirement for a specific spatial reference and the tool will do the reprojection if needed. Even when you download/import the OSM data there is now requirement to store the data in WGS84 in the geodatabase. You can specify a different spatial reference in the geoprocessing environment and the tools will respect that.

2) You can use either one. When you are working against *_osm_* feature classes make sure you are removing "supporting elements" from the display. You can apply a definition query with "supportingElement = 'no'". 

You can do both but you'll have a nicer editing experience if you go through the themed layers - IMHO.

3) Yes, you can continue to use the same mxd/geodatabase. However keep in mind that the upload tool only uploads your changes and reconciles them with the OSM server and brings the local geodatabase up to the reconciled state. It doesn't request or get updates to other features made by other users. Eventually you would want to do a full sync with the OSM server again. On how you do it depends on the size of OSM data you are working against. If you are working within your neighborhood or a suburb then re-downloading whole extent might be faster. If you are working against the state of Colorado you probably want to use the Load Diff File tool which reloads only the deltas against your extent.

4) We do have a workflow outlined on how to do it at This workflow is not set in stone as there are a lot of moving parts and we are always curious about feedback from users what worked and what didn't work for them from the workflow perspective.

- Thomas