OSM antarctic icesheet preprocessing script
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OSM antarctic icesheet preprocessing script

This repository contains a bash script that generates shapefiles for use in map rendering of the glaciated parts of the Antarctic continent based on OpenStreetMap data.

The results of this processing can also be found here


Invoke the script in an empty directory and it will download all needed data and process it. In addition:

  • if a file ending on .sqlite or .db already exists in the current directory it will assume this to be an OSMCoastline generated spatialite db and use it.
  • it takes a single optional parameter to specify the OSM data source. Either overpass (default), geofabrik or the name of an existing OSM file.

If you do not have osmjs installed (which relies on the old osmium library which is deprecated) you need to build the included osmium_noice before using the script. Check the included makefile for further dependencies for doing this.

Generated files

The script generates two shapefiles in web mercator (EPSG:3857) projection:

  • polygons of the ice covered area in Antarctica that is not explicitly mapped with areas tagged natural=glacier. These polygons are split into smaller pieces in the same way the land polygons from OSMCoastline are split.
  • outlines of the ice area above split into handy linestrings. These have an additionl ice_edge attribute. ice_edge ice_ocean indicates outlines separating ice from ocean, i.e. ice coastlines, ice_edge ice_land are edges of ice covered areas towards ice free land and ice_edge ice_ice are edges between ice covered areas not explicitly mapped and ice explicitly mapped as glaciers in OSM.


requires the following to operate:

Legal stuff

This program is licensed under the GNU GPL version 3.

Copyright 2014-2016 Christoph Hormann