[OSM-dev] Simpler binary OSM formats

Bernhard R. Fischer bf at abenteuerland.at
Thu Apr 30 09:00:06 UTC 2015

On Wednesday 29 April 2015 01:35:29 andrew byrd wrote:
> Hello OSM developers,
> Over the last few years I have worked on several pieces of software that
> consume and produce the PBF format. I have always appreciated the
> advantages of PBF over XML for our use cases, but over time it became
> apparent to me that PBF is significantly more complex than would be
> necessary to meet its objectives of speed and compactness.
> Based on my observations about the effectiveness of various techniques
> used in PBF and other formats, I devised an alternative OSM
> representation that is consistently about 8% smaller than PBF but
> substantially simpler to encode and decode. This work is presented in an
> article at http://conveyal.com/blog/2015/04/27/osm-formats/. I welcome
> any comments you may have on this article or on the potential for a
> shift to simpler binary OSM formats.
> Regards, Andrew Byrd


I highly appreciate your new format!

Since years I'm working on software which deals with large OSM data sets and I 
made the same observations. But PBF seems too overhelming and accepted without 
ever being questioned.

If there will be some consensus on your format I'll implement it into my 

Best regards,

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