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A workflow to import POIs in OSM

Posted by mbranco2 on 16 May 2021 in English.

Let’s say you have a georeferenced POIs list, and you want to put that information into OSM.

The (theoretical) below example suppose you’ve registered the caves in an area, and you’ve a spreadsheet with the following infos:

  • lat / lng of the cave entrance
  • elevation of the cave entrance
  • name of the cave
  • length

Question : if it’s on our own work (direct knowledge), we’ve to document the job following the wiki import rules? Maybe depending how huge are the data?

However, this is the workflow I suggest (hoping this could be enough also as documentation of an import project), it can be used with any kind of POIs.

Tools used:

  • Overpass Turbo
  • Josm, with the following plugins: utilsplugin2, opendata, ToDo


  1. In the spreadsheet:
    • replace the column headings with the corresponding OSM tags. So the column headings of our example will be: latitude, longitude, ele, name, cave:length
    • add a column headed with “natural”, and in all the rows put “cave_entrance”
    • add a column headed with “fixme”, and in all the rows put “conflation_new”
    • save the spreadsheet in .csv format
  2. With Overpass Turbo:
    • look for “natural=cave_entrance” in the appropriate area and export the found items in Josm.
  3. In Josm:
    • select all the items (which come from Overpass Turbo) and add the tag “fixme=conflation_old”
    • open the .csv file (thanks to the opendata plugin) : all tags are already OK, being used the heading columns as keys, and the other rows as values.
    • merge the two layers
    • search for “conflation_new” and add all the found items to the ToDo plugin list
    • Process – one by one – all the items in the ToDo list; for each of them:
      • download OSM data around the node (area size could be maybe 100x100 m2, or 200x200...)
      • if near your item there is another natural=cave_entrance node tagged with fixme=conflation_old, it depends on you decide if they must be merged and, if so, which is “better” (both for tags and for geolocation). If you decide that your item is “better”, don’t delete the other one, but select both and use the command “Other tools / Replace Geometry” (Shift+Ctrl+G) so the history will be preserved.
      • Delete the fixme=conflation_* tag
    • Once finished to process the ToDo list, search for “conflation_new” : if some of them are found, empty the ToDo list and populate it with the items currently selected; for each of them:
      • check if it could correspond to one of the items in your .csv list (maybe it was geolocated more far and you’ve not matched it in the previous step): if so, manually resolve the conflation between the two items; if not so, it means your .csv list is not complete…
      • delete the fixme=conflation_old tag
    • At this point you should not have items with fixme=conflation_* (you can do a last search to check this), and your data can be uploaded to OSM.