High-level p2p OpenStreetMap database for node and the browser
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example observations example works Feb 13, 2016
browser.js browser example Jan 28, 2016



create an osm-p2p-db with reasonable defaults for node and the browser

node example

In node, give osm-p2p a directory to store its files:

var osmdb = require('osm-p2p')
var osm = osmdb('/tmp/osmdb')

if (process.argv[2] === 'create') {
  var value = JSON.parse(process.argv[3])
  osm.create(value, function (err, key, node) {
    if (err) console.error(err)
    else console.log(key)
} else if (process.argv[2] === 'query') {
  var q = process.argv.slice(3).map(csplit)
  osm.query(q, function (err, pts) {
    if (err) console.error(err)
    else pts.forEach(function (pt) {

function csplit (x) { return x.split(',').map(Number) }


$ node osm.js create '{"id":"A","lat":64.5,"lon":-147.6}'
$ node osm.js create '{"id":"B","lat":62.9,"lon":-146.1}'
$ node osm.js create '{"id":"C","lat":65.5,"lon":-148.2}'
$ node osm.js query 61,65 -149,-147
{ id: '15398698684854381490',
  lat: 64.5,
  lon: -147.6,
  version: '6732d1580bc07c9ab4d07c56025825998a0741f528e4cd2b48c1fdbfb26389b2' }

browser example

In this example, we can add points and query the points we've added. The point data persists using IndexedDB, a native browser API.

var osmdb = require('osm-p2p')
var osm = osmdb()

document.querySelector('form#add').addEventListener('submit', onadd)
document.querySelector('form#query').addEventListener('submit', onquery)

function onadd (ev) {
  var form = this
  var doc = {
    type: 'node',
    lat: Number(this.elements.lat.value),
    lon: Number(this.elements.lon.value)
  osm.create(doc, function (err, key, node) {
    if (err) console.error(err)
    else form.reset()

function onquery (ev) {
  var q = [
    [ this.elements.minlat.value, this.elements.maxlat.value ],
    [ this.elements.minlon.value, this.elements.maxlon.value ]
  osm.query(q, function (err, results) {
      = results.map(str).join('\n')
    function str (row) { return JSON.stringify(row) }

To generate a blob of javascript, run browserify on this main.js file:

$ browserify main.js > bundle.js

And put <script src="bundle.js"></script> into your html. See the example/browser directory for the rest of this example.


var osmdb = require('osm-p2p')

var osm = osmdb(opts)

Create an open street maps database in node or the browser.

  • opts.dir - the directory to use to store the data files (required in node)
  • opts.chunkSize - the chunk size to use for the kdb tree

If opts is a string, it is interpreted as the opts.dir.

osm.create(doc, opts={}, cb)

Create a new document doc to store in the database.

cb(err, id, node) fires with an error err or the node id and node from the underlying hyperlog.

doc must have:

  • doc.type - either 'node', 'way', 'relation' or 'changeset'

Nodes must have:

  • doc.changeset - the changeset id of this update
  • doc.lat - latitude in degrees
  • doc.lon - longitude in degrees

Ways must have:

  • doc.refs - an array of string IDs that are contained in the way

Relations must have:

  • doc.members - an array of objects with a member.type with the type of the document pointed at by member.ref and an optional member.role

Changesets should have:

  • doc.tags.comment - a string describing the changes, like a commit message

All documents can have:

  • doc.tags - an object with additional document metadata

osm.put(id, doc, opts={}, cb)

Replace a document at id with doc. If there is no document at id, it will be created.

The document doc should be structured according to the outline in the osm.create() section.

If opts.links is set, it will refer to an array of document hashes that the current document intends to replace. Otherwise, the most recent hashes known locally for the id are used.

osm.get(id, opts={}, cb)

Get a document as cb(err, docs) by its OSM id.

The docs will map version hash keys to document body values.

Most of the time, there will be a single document in docs, but when multiple people are editing the same document offline and replicating, there could be more than one document.

var stream = osm.kv.createReadStream(opts)

Get a list of all the IDs and values in the database.

stream is an object stream and each row object has:

  • row.key - the ID of the document
  • row.links - an array of current hashes that point at the key
  • row.values - an object mapping current hashes to document values

When a document has multiple forks of the "current" values, the row.links array will have more than one element and the row.values will have more than one key.

osm.query(q, opts={}, cb)

Query for all nodes, ways, and relations in the bounding box query given by q. The query q is an array of [[minLat,maxLat],[minLon,maxLon]].

cb(err, results) fires with an array of results, which are the documents values plus a version property that is the hash from the underlying hyperlog.


  • opts.order - set to 'type' to order by type: node, way, relation

var rstream = osm.queryStream(q, opts)

Query for all nodes, ways, and relations in the bounding box query given by q. The query q is an array of [[minLat,maxLat],[minLon,maxLon]].

The query results are provided by a readable stream rstream. Each object is a document from the database with a version property that is the hash of the document from the underlying hyperlog.


  • opts.order - set to 'type' to order by type: node, way, relation

var rstream = osm.getChanges(id, cb)

Given a changeset id, get a list of document IDs in the changeset either as cb(err, ids) or in the readable stream rstream where each object in the output is a string id.

var stream = osm.log.replicate()

Return a duplex stream that can be used to replicate two osmdb instances. With a duplex stream, you will need to hook up both the readable and writable ends of the connection with .pipe().

For example, to replicate two databases over a tcp connection, one process will have a server:

var osmdb = require('osm-p2p')
var osm = osmdb()

var net = require('net')
var server = net.createServer(function (stream) {

and a client:

var osmdb = require('osm-p2p')
var osm = osmdb()

var net = require('net')
var stream = net.connect('localhost', 5000)

Any streaming transport will work. For example, you can use websocket-stream to replicate a browser database to a server and vice-versa or simple-peer to connect two browsers together directly without going through a server at all.


Sometimes, a key will point at more than one document. This is a normal and expected state for a highly distributed, highly offline peer to peer database.

These are sometimes called "conflicts" in databases, but here they are a natural state of the database and can be reconciled at any future time when it is convenient to merge them into a single (or simply fewer) document(s).

Having multiple forks is not a show-stopping event. Replication will still work and the forks can be individually edited, similarly to branches in git.


To learn more about the architecture of the suite of libraries that power osm-p2p, check out architecture.markdown.


npm install osm-p2p