Converts an OSM XML file to OSM JSON objects as a transform stream

WARNING: This project has been renamed to osm2obj. Install using npm install osm2obj instead.
Last updated 3 years ago by gmaclennan .
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Build Status npm js-standard-style

Streaming parser from OSM XML to OSM JSON objects

Implements a Node Transport Stream. Takes a readable stream of OSM XML and outputs a stream of objects compatible with Overpass OSM JSON. Also reads OsmChange XML and outputs the same format but with an additional property action which is one of create, modify, delete. Uses sax-js to work in both node and the browser.

NB: The name of this module is a bit of a misnomer - it outputs objects, not JSON.

Table of Contents


npm install osm2json


var fs = require('fs')
var Osm2Json = require('../lib/osm2json')

var rs = fs.createReadableStream(__dirname + './osm.xml')

rs.pipe(new Osm2Json()).pipe(process.stdout)

Example Output

// node
  type: 'node',
  id: 1,
  version: 0,
  timestamp: '2013-09-05T19:38:11.187Z',
  uid: 1,
  user: 'gregor',
  lat: 0,
  lon: 0,
  tags: { null: 'island' }

// way
  type: 'way',
  id: 3,
  version: 3,
  timestamp: '2013-09-05T19:38:11Z',
  changeset: 49,
  nodes: [ 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27 ],
  tags: { name: 'York St' }

// relation
  type: 'relation',
  id: 1,
  members: [
      type: 'relation',
      ref: 1745069,
      role: 'outer'
      type: 'relation',
      ref: 172789
  tags: {
    from: 'Konrad-Adenauer-Platz',
    name: 'VRS 636'

Example: Actual JSON output

var through = require('through2')
var fs = require('fs')
var path = require('path')
var Osm2Json = require('../lib/osm2json')

var rs = fs.createReadStream(path.join(__dirname, '../test/osm.xml'))

var jsonStream = through.obj(write, end)

var start = true

rs.pipe(new Osm2Json()).pipe(jsonStream).pipe(process.stdout)

function write (row, enc, next) {
  if (!start) {
    this.push(', ')
  } else {
    start = false
  next(null, JSON.stringify(row, null, 2))

function end (next) {


var Osm2Json = require('osm2json')

var stream = new Osm2Json(opts)

Create a transform stream with:

  • opts.coerceIds - coerce id-type fields (id, uid, version, changeset, ref) to Number (default true) - useful for osm-p2p-db where ids can be strings.
  • opts.bounds - Also parse bounds (default true)
  • opts.types - An array of element types you are interested in, e.g. opts.types = ['node'] (default ['node', 'way', 'relation', 'changeset'])
  • opts.strict - Be a jerk about XML (default false). In strict mode will throw an error if:
    • XML is badly formatted
    • Case of element names differs from spec
    • Root node is not one of osm, osmChange, diffResult
    • An action element (create, modify, delete) appears when the root is not osmChange
    • Any element in the XML which is not one of create, modify, delete, node, way, relation, changeset, bounds, nd, tag, member

Any attribute that is not a valid OSM XML attribute will be ignored (see WHITELISTS). tag, member, or nd elements without the required attributes will throw an error. The readable side of the stream is in objectMode.

Parses OsmChange XML. Output objects will have property action which is one of create, modify, delete.

If a <delete> block in osmChange XML has an if-unused attribute, then each object within the block will have a prop ifUnused=true. The value of the attribute is ignored, as per the OSM API 0.6 spec.


Parse str and return the result. Will throw any error.


PRs welcome. Please follow JS Standard Style. Right now this could do with some tests. If you are feeling ambitious, this could be sped up by using node-expat on node. The interface is similar to sax-js and it should be possible to wrap this to use sax-js on the browser and node-expat on the server using the browserify browser field


MIT (c) 2016, Digital Democracy.

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