What is Rate Limiting and how can I over-come it?

Okay so I’ve literally just joined OSM like made my account about 4 hours ago… Any way I’ve been contributing to OSM via the Microsoft ‘Map Builder’ but I’d rather do it here. I’ve just finished touching up a retirement village in my town as all the buildings were outa wack. With 131 edits I am ready to publish, as I go to do so the “Upload has been blocked due to rate limiting. Please try again later.” disclaimer comes up. Considering this took me a good 1 and a half hrs to complete I’d like to at least save it and try again late if I cant uplad tonight. Anyone have any ideas?

The Edits:

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Edits have been rate-limited a few weeks ago in order to fight vandalism like deleting complete cities or removing names in a certain language. Fighting this vandalism required lots of volunteer resources – both for blocking the accounts and reverting the changes. In addition, blocks were circumvented by new accounts. Therefore, you have to wait a few hours until you can change more features. The good news: The older your account becomes, the higher your limit will be.

There is no official blog post about this but you can find some information by the developers of the OSM website on GitHub and a forum thread where people from HOT complain about rate-limiting limiting their uploads.

EDIT: See also this wiki page.


Rate limiting limits how many actions can be made, especially by new accounts or detected to be likely problematic. This was introduced recently due to irritating vandalisms where brand new accounts immediately started large scale malicious edits. Rate limits is reducing how much editing (or other action, like sending PMs) can be done by a new account. Much higher rate limits apply also to older accounts but mappers are unlikely to run into them (unless someone reverts for example over 100 000 edits)

To avoid rate limits:

  • post edits early, especially if you account is brand new (do not wait for 100+ buildings after edit for one hour - it is fine to save more often)
  • it may be necessary to undo some edits before they can be saved - so edit will be smaller. And sadly I am not sure is undo/redo stack in iD surviving an upload. There are also more complex ways to extract edit made so far, open it with JOSM and make partial changesets.
  • keep the same account rather than abandoning them and starting to use new ones, rate limits may take into account account age and how many edits were made with it
  • for heavy editing (imports, mass reverts) special importer account status can be obtained which raises rate limit