[OSM-talk] User manual for the Overpass API

Roland Olbricht roland.olbricht at gmx.de
Sun Dec 22 11:01:35 UTC 2019


for the Overpass API, a user manual is now accessible at

Key features:
- It is a guided tour (and neither a full reference nor an example
library, which both are useful but separate resources)
- Focus on long term stable functionality
- Intended to be easily translated, 2 translations already available

The user manual aims to fulfill the desire for a more comprehensive
documentation. I hope that more mappers get empowered to user features
beyond simple key=value and bounding boxes. For this reason, alternativa
language versions in German and French are offered as well.

Although the user manual is still in the process of being written,
the essential chapters "Preface", "Spatial Data Selection", and "Find
Objects" are populated. The other chapters and the missing section in
these chapters will follow in the coming months.

For the languages:

More translations are highly welcome, and localizations of the examples
as well. You can either do a pull request on
or send them by other means. There has been a tool integrated to track
updates paragraph by paragraph
such that keeping the translation up to date should much easier than in
the wiki.

German, English, and French are simply the languages that I'm able to
communicate in and by no other means special.

Relating to other existing documentation:

The manual collects long-term valid information and is not even intended
to store short-term information. Short term information will continue to
go into the wiki.

A much larger legacy is help.openstreetmap.org . Others and me have
provided beside helpful information a lot of workarounds that are now
much too complicated. Even worse, there are then-truthful answer about
absent features that have been implemented in the meanstime. That source
lacks a mechanism to hide or delete outdated answers, and is in this
regard damaged beyond repair.

An example library would still be very helpful. There are several
examples on
and in their translations (not synchronized), but much more probably
exist elsewhere and not easy to find.

Some older documentation pages on https://overpass-api.de/ will be
decomissioned once I have found the time to rewrite updated versions of
them for the manual.

Viele Grüße,


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