Looking for a way to export maps and understand exported data format..

Hi all,
I’m new to Open-Street-Map and all it’s relative tools and kits.
We have a AI search algorithm (that searches for shortest path/road between two given locations in a map) developed by a researchers in the Academy needs to be tested and compared with another algorithms, so we want to test it on some real maps.

So I’m looking for a way to export some real maps to a file/DB, and getting the exported file format…
I will appreciate any help from anyone of you with finding a way to export some real maps form openstreetmap (exporting all the details of the map to some data file or database) and how to decode/understand the exported data format.


OpenStreetMap exports all of its data as “planet files” in an xml format. You can find more details about it in the wiki at http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Planet In addition to the full planet.osm which is very large (8Gb compressed and probably somewhere on the order of 80 Gb uncompressed XML), there are various country level extracts that can be downloaded from e.g. http://download.geofabrik.de/osm/ or http://download.cloudmade.com/. If you only need some small areas, e.g. to see the file formats, or test your import scripts into your router, you can also get the data for small areas directly from the OSM api, e.g. via the “export tab” on the main osm page http://www.openstreetmap.org/export

The file format is, as said, in XML and fairly self explanatory but some more details can be found at http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Data_Primitives.

Once you get the OSM data you will then need to write a converter to transcode the information into a dataformat that you algorithm can use, as the .osm format is good for data exchange, but not necessarily for anyspecific application.

There are some tools that allow you to take .osm files and import it into a database ( http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Osm2pgsql http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Osmosis ) but these are probably again not necessarily in a db schema you would be able to use directly.

The data can be used freely under the CC-BY-SA license.

Thank you very much, this is what I was looking for, thank you again for your generous support and help.