JOSM: Efficient way to add new crossings

I’m looking for an efficient way to add lots of crossings ( ) based on aerial imagery in JOSM. The best I could come up with was to copy a node with highway=crossing, paste it near a highway=… where it belongs and merge it into the way by pressing J.

However, I cannot comfortably/blindly reach Ctrl-V and J on the keyboard and looking therefore for an alternative. Do you have any suggestions?

I also thought about writing a plugin which would only consider ways with highway=… (maybe without highway=path, etc.), project an auxiliary line to the nearest such street and would insert a node with highway=crossing when clicking the mouse. I assume the plugin could be made customizable for other things (nodes) laying on ways but nothing else came to my mind spontaneously.

Am I the first having this idea or are there already similar plugins? I checked JOSM’s plugin list ( ) but didn’t find anything similar at first sight.


In JOSM, when you go on the “attributes” menu, you can right click on every element of the list to open a little window. If you click on the blue pin, the item will be in your toolbar.

If that’s still not quick enought, you can right click on that icon in the toolbar and “Modify the shortcut” to bind a custom shortcut on it. It should do the trick.

(Sorry, my buttons translations may not be accurate, I use the french version and was too lazy to switch the language)

@orklah: Thank you for your advice. The English name is “Presets”. I added it to my toolbar. I also created a shortcut (Shift-Ctrl-X was still free). (Creating the shortcut was a bit tricky: Right-click on the icon on the toolbar → Edit shortcut → Disable “Use default” → Disable “Disable” → Choose Key “X” → Tick “Shift” and “Ctrl”)

So the workflow is now: Select the draw nodes menu (A) (only once) → Double click on a road to create a new node → Press Shift-Ctrl-X → Press Enter.

That is probably now a bit faster. I’d still be interested in a single-click solution though… (@orklah: I mean no disrespect. )

Still not single-click (I think there is no such way yet), but a press of enter less: Propably the last object you selected (besides untagged ones) is a highway=crossing. If that’s the case create/select the new node and press [Shift]+[R].
To remove the necessity of having it last selected: I heard that there is some way to use copy-pasting to only copy the tags, but don’t know how as I don’t need it.

You can create your own presets. Create a file with the following content:

    <item name="Crossing" type="node" icon="presets/crossing.png">
        <key key="highway" value="crossing"/>

The icon is not correct, but it’s best to have an icon.

Add this using F12, Presets and point to the file.
Restart JOSM, now press with the right mouse button on the toolbar and add the preset.

Recently ‘n’ got the function to move a node onto a way, without disturbing the geometry. ‘j’ joins the node by keeping the position of the node.

Also install the utilsplugin2 plugin, if you didn’t do so.

If you select a group of crossing ways, 2 or more, it has a function to create nodes at their crossings. The nodes will all be selected, so it’s easy to set tags on them.


@rayquaza: Shift-R works nicely (it requires the utilsplugin2).

@Polyglot: I added the file using F12 → Map settings → Tagging presets. That did work.
I didn’t know the ‘n’ command, I find it better than using ‘j’ for this use case.
The function to add nodes at intersecting ways is: Shift-I This might come in handy one day.

I think for the moment I will stick with one of the following (already quite fast) workflows:

  • Double click on way → Shift-R (using utilsplugin2)
  • Double click on way → Shift-Ctrl-X (custom preset)

Thank you for your inputs.

Press Ctrl+C to copy the object. Then select another object, and use Ctrl+Shift+V to paste the tags onto it.
You can repeat this as many times as you want, ie select more objects and paste the same tags onto them.

The ‘n’ command is a relatively recent addition to JOSM. I use it all the time now.

Don’t forget to add a button for your one-click preset to the taskbar. Then it can’t be beat for speed. :slight_smile:

You can reassign shortcut keys for the tools you use most often.

I set ‘e’ to select adjacent nodes. (It also selects all nodes of a way when a way was selected).

‘t’ to select all inside a closed way (building)

‘v’ to replace geometry (from a new object to an existing object)