Extracting boundary data to use in a map.

I’m trying to learn how to make a map (specifically for Medellin Colombia). It’s important that I get the boundaries for the various communas and barrios (districts and neighborhoods) in a data form that I can use to create my map. The neighborhoods are actual administrative regions in the city.

I know the data exists, I just don’t know where, or how to get my hand on it.

If you look at a map of Medellin for example in OpenStreetMap, the Barrios are there printed on the page. That’s fine but I need the REAL boundaries for what’s returning that label.

I’m a total newb, I admit, but I’m stuck.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


There is one possibility to display any administartive boundary for a certain area described at


  1. Get raw OSM data via download from geofabrik.de or cloudemade.com

  2. shrink the data with the help of osmfilter

  3. display that filtered data in any rendering program or in this example in the JOSM editor to get an overview.

Tell us about success or failure, or if you get stuck somewhere …