How to track the history of a feature (node, way or relation) in OSM?

Once a feature was created, it could be edited many times. But, in OSM data, there is only one record for one feature, i.e. node, way and relation. Any clues to solve this problem? Many thanks in advance!


Actually, I was thinking to use the ID of feature in OSM data. That is to say, I download the OSM data at different date time, and then scan them one by one to detect and compare the changes of ID. It could be extremely time-consuming because of the intensive OSM data.

Here is the statistics of OSM data:
Any suggestion on how it has been done? Thank you!

Hi xintao,
I’m not sure what you’re trying to do…
If you want to find out what changes were done to a specific object, you could download the “full planet”. This includes the full history of every item.

But I only know that from hear-say because I never did it. Full planet are a huge amount of data…

Thank you, Marqqs! Yes, you are right. I am trying find out the history of every object in OSM data, including node, way and relation. For example, when a node was created by who, and then when it is edited by who, and so on.

Thanks for your suggestion. Yes, the full planet data is huge! But I maybe can give it a try.

There are currently some users who work on that problem (e.g. MaZderMind and Mvexel), so you could contact them. See also the wiki: History APi and Database and Reading_OSM_History_dumps

MaZderMind just announced his new service where you can get extracts of the full history dump.

Bye, Andreas

Thank you Andreas! Your post is of great help! I will read through the document and contact them. Thanks a lot!

Like this?

No it does not contain the history.

Thank you greencaps, exactly, the history is like that:

This webpage says that the full planet includes history:, just as what Andreas said. How do you know it does not include history?

O I have only seen planet dumps wich did not contain history. Did not know that there were with. If Marqqs had given that link that you profided I would have understood what he meant wit ‘full’. For me the dump was already ‘full’ enough without.

I was scanning the OSM full file, and I found some nodes information as shown below:

In this case, doe it mean that I can user changeset ID to track back to get the corresponding user ID? Thanks!

I never downloaded the full planet file, it’s far too large, but I would assume that you could find user id and user name via the related changeset. The full planet should contain a section with changesets. As far as I remember, the “normal” planet file does contain a changeset section too.

Thank you Marqqs, yes, there are changeset in full OSM planet. Thanks again.