OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box - Wiki

A ready-made map and geodata server including a highly configurable converter which synchronizes OpenStreetMap data (pure Java open source).

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OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box (short OSM-in-a-Box or osminabox) is a dedicated server software which imports semi-structured OpenStreetMap (OSM) data and stores it as geographic features (entities). In addition, it keeps its base data in sync with the original OSM hosts. It is scalable, offers well-known geographic web services and is based on proven software components. As of now this is a read-only database (see Discussion). Updates need to be fed through the usual OSM software and hosts.

Often it’s important to have an own map server either because one needs reliable and fast webservices or because one wants to have individual map graphics (e.g. no buildings) and regionalized contents (e.g. local names). OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box (OSM-in-a-Box) delivers a software bundle which does this 'out-of-the-box' with an easy installer. Using OSM-in-a-box users get their map mashups with personalized styling which includes nice loooking background topographic maps which is something which you don't get with Google Maps & Co. Its written in Java and based on PostgreSQL/PostGIS and !GeoServer.

  1. Configures PostgreSQL/PostGIS server
  2. Creates an empty database with geospatial features - keeps all attributes in hstore
  3. Configures GeoServer and tries to keep osm2gis-configuration consistent with GeoServer styling rules
  4. Loads OSM data into the database
  5. Incrementally updates the database
  6. Does nice maps (tiles and cached through GeoWebCache)
The OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box software consists of following parts:
  • A converter (Java) called osm2gis which imports OSM data and stores the relevant part of it in the database (PostgreSQL/PostGIS) in a geospatial, relational database schema.
  • A spatial information server with geographic web services (!GeoServer), like WMS, Tiling/Caching and WFS (read-only).
  • A web site to demonstrate the project (see showcase below).

Similar software we are aware of (as of Mai 2011) besides osmosis (Java, Open Source) which is the robust software directly used by OSM database. Therefore it's tied to the OSM schema (nodes, ways, relations, tags). Can create linestrings but no polygons. Can do bbox and some filtering.

  • osm2gis/OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box (Java, Open Source) - Outputs relational geospatial entities (as opposed to OSM schema), like roads, railways, pois, buildings, etc. for regions (i.e. smaller than planet). Uses PostGIS and hstore. Can do differential update.
  • osm2pgsql (C++, Open Source) - mostly used by Mapnik renderer. Outputs a schema with osm_point, osm_line, osm_road and osm_polygon. Usage of hstore gives flexible tag access. Produces still osm_nodes, osm_ways and osm_rels which comes close to OSM schema. Does 'heavy' filtering (unless parametrized otherwise). Can do differential update.
  • Osm2postgresql (Bash, Open Source) - Sets up a PostGIS database, imports OSM data usinng osmosis (including multi-polygons with holes) and proposes a classification.
  • imposm (Python and uses C/C++ libraries like GEOS, Open Source) - Import tool similar to osm2pgsql with no diff functionality but support for custom database schemas with separate tables for each data type lie osm2gis.
  • Not maintained anymore?
    • OSM2PostGIS (Java, Open Source) - a rather young project (from Finland? Schema conversion?)

Current and Past Activities

Team leader: Prof. Stefan Keller, Institue for Software, Computer Science Department, HSR Hochschule Rapperswil (Switzerland)
  • Server still up and running (hopefully) - but data updates stopped end of march 2013 since node ID reached float value range! -- SK, 31. March 2013
  • GIT repository updated -- SK, 15. July 2013
  • Migration to new server; maintenance... -- SK, 15. Oct. 2010

Articles, Press & Presentations

  • strangeoptics-Blog about Using OSM data in GeoServer: Part3 - GeoServer , October 14, 2011.
  • Talk at GIScience Group Uni Heidelberg, December 2010 by S. Keller.
  • Talk about "OpenStreetMap-in-a-box - A Ready-Made Highly Configurable Map Server" at FOSS4G 2010 Barcelona, Sep. 6th-9th by S. Keller.
  • Vortrag "PostGIS/PostgreSQL für interaktive Karten" am FrOSCamp 2010 , ETH Zürich, 17.-18. September 2010 von S. Keller.

Project History

  • OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box Version 1.1 (Server), march 2013
  • "OpenStreetMapInABox Version 1.0 - freie Karten-Webservices" (Version Server 1.0, Mobile 0.2) - Bachelor Thesis of Andreas Meier and Joram Zimmermann, Autumn 2010 => Bachelor Thesis' Vision
  • Project 2 (Version Server_0.3) - Semester Thesis of Andreas Meier and Joram Zimmermann, Fall 2009
  • Project Teil B (Version Mobile_0.1)" - Diploma Thesis of Marco Busarello, Fall 2009 => Diploma Thesis' Vision => OpenIssues
  • Project 1 (Version Server_0.2) - Bachelor Thesis from Roland Hof, Michael Huber and Fabio Renggli, Spring 2009 => Bachelor Thesis' Vision ( emails)

Project Pages

  • Discussion about OpenStreetMap-in-a-Box.
  • Hardware/Deployment: Virtual Server Info (Build Server)
  • Documentation Version 2: see source:Dokumentation/09_Installation_Usermanual
  • Documentation: see 'Download'


Checkout (copy) anonymously from here using the usual git tools:

git clone

The software is released under the "New BSD License" (also known as "Modified BSD License" or "3-clause BSD license").