Converting OpenStreetMap (OSM) layers to Shape files using Spatial Desktop Manager software


Demonstrate how to convert OpenStreetMap (OSM) layers to shapefiles.


– Define and export the area of interest in OpenStreetMaps;

– Open with Spatial Manager Desktop version and convert to shapefile.

Spatial Manager Desktop version is a subscription based software but users can download a one month free trial to practice.



Browse to and launch OpenStreetMap. Locate area of interest, for the demo, it is the Ibadan area. Click on Export.



The area in red box will display the bounding coordinates of the area of interest displayed on the map. If the extents are satisfactory, then click Export (where the cursor finger is)



A download message box will appear. Click Ok to download the file to the PC.



2. Opening the OSM file with Spatial Desktop Manager and converting to shapefile

Copy the downloaded OSM file from downloads and paste in a working folder in the C drive. Spatial Desktop Manager can only access files in the C or D drives. For the demo, the file was renamed –Ibadan.osm during the copy and paste process.

Launch the Spatial Manager Desktop version . In the directory, navigate to where to the Folder in C: where the file is saved.


Right Click on the File and click Load in new document.


The User is prompted to select or deselect parameters that will be loaded with the file. For the demo, all parameters are accepted.


The file is opened and the map from OSM is displayed.


Right Click on the File > Export features


In the Export features window, it prompts user to set parameters for the source data.


Then prompts the User to select a destination for the file. In the lower part of the window (red boxed), name the file and select the type. for the demo, name is ibadanOSM and the Type is SHP.


Select an allowed geometry type. Here the user will pick a geometry type. For data with all geometry types, this process of export will be done more than once. For the demo, it will be polyline features.



The CRS for the shapefile is requested. the default from OSM is WGS84 so for the demo, the coordinates are transformed to have projection. WGS84/UTM zone 31N.


After all these parameters are filled in, the user is prompted to run the task. A message window appears to give the results of the processing. If executed properly, a OSM file is converted and saved as a shape file.



The ibadanosm shapefile is loaded into QGIS as a layer.



Using the identifier tool, one will observe the attribute data of the features were also exported along.



Now users can download recent vector data on areas of interest within cities and towns and update their GIS data.

Hope you enjoyed the post. Keep practicing along.


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