JOSM: How to proper connect street to street?

being new to OSM I have my first problem in JOSM: In Mannheim-Rheinau there is the Relaisstrasse (, which is used by cars and has a tramway in the middle of the street. The side streets are currently not mapped, so I wanted to add them. By connecting a side street to the street using JOSM, sometimes my new street is connected to the street Relaisstrasse, sometimes it is connected to the tramway route.

  • Do I have a chance to see in advance to which object a new street will be connected?
  • Do I have a chnace to change the connection afterwards, if it was wrong?
  • Any other ideas how to connect it in the best way?

First, welcome.

No, you cannot see to which road JOSM is going to connect (if it will connect at all). But you can force it to select a specific road by clicking nearer to it then the tram way. But if that road crosses the tram way then it must connect to both (to indicate that it crosses the tramway and poses a thread to traffic add the tag railway=level_crossing to the tram/road node).

You can use the undo function to change the connection, but if you’ve already saved your work or have done other work then you will have to ‘cut it loose’: Add a node to the road close to the connection that you want to disconnect. Split the road on the new node. Delete the small bit of road that is now disconnected. Add a new piece of road and connect it properly. Delete the unnecessary nodes lastly.

Hi as well,

What I use in JOSM to avoid linking points unexpectedly is the ctrl key. That forces JOSM not to connect. Later on I select the two nodes I do want to connect with the Shift key kept down and do from the Tools menu: merge nodes.

Works for me, Hugo

This is the most annoying “bug/missfeature” in JOSM IMHO, selecting ways used to be a real pain but I’m not sure it still is.


Bit puzzled with your remark on selecting in JOSM: when you are in select mode (on the left-hand table the little hand selected), just click the way you want and it is selected. If it is a long way consisting of different pieces, keep the shift key down and select all other pieces as well. it is now available for editing, like names and all attributes

To me rather simple,

BTW any other entity can be selected in this way and open for editing attributes as well,


I’m a very sporadic JOSM user, this problem has since been solved (I think). But it basically stems from the problem that is described above you don’t click on the ways to select them/edit them/connect to them, but rather in the empty vincinity of them. That’s still a problem imho, but selecting ways was worse before, ways at some angles would just not get selected if you didn’t manage to click straight on them.

I don’t complain about the ways to select something, more about the feedback you get when connecting something to something - there is no feedback in advance… My wish would be that e.g. when I create a new street and want to connect it to another street by pointing to that street, the target street would be highlighted if the new street would be connected to it. There are thousands of missing nodes just because people are not aware of the fact that maybe a millimeter mouse move is missing to get the connection happen.

I will put it to the official JOSM wish list…

Sorry for hijacking your thread, didn’t want to discuss it at length really… There is always Potlatch, which is a tad bit more intuitive than JOSM although slower. :slight_smile: