Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time

Spiderosm -

Home Page:
Author: Michael Arnold,
Discussion Group:!forum/spiderosm
Source Repository:
Bug Reports:

Spiderosm is a python package for matching path (street) networks, e.g. OpenStreetMaps with government centerline data.

Spiderosm is still in BETA. Python programming skills are needed to use this software.


Spiderosm is open software, distributed under the MIT license. See LICENSE.txt for details

In addition, please note:


Download and Install

System Requirements

Spiderosm is being developed under Python2.7. Slightly older versions of Python may also work. Python 3 is not yet supported.


The use of virtualenv is strongly encouraged. (See ) This will keep the install of spiderosm from conflicting with other python applications on your system.

Installing with Pip

% pip install spiderosm --upgrade

Installing from Source Distribution

Download or clone from github ( Then:

% cd <your-download-dir>/spiderosm
% python install 

Testing the Installation

Open a new command window (so the brand new spiderosm_test, command will be found) and enter:


This should take less than a minute to run and the final line of output should look something like this:

Congratulations!  Spiderosm appears to be properly installed and functioning.

Getting Help

For help etc, please post to the spiderosm forum early and often. Also please post a description of your project. I'd like to know who my Beta users are!!forum/spiderosm

In addition, for questions, comments, feature requests, or bug reports,

create a new issue.

Config Files and Optional Components

Config Files

Configuration options can be set in config.spiderosm.json (alternately .spiderosm.json) files. First any .spiderosm.json in the users home directory is read. Second any .spiderosm.json in the current directory at start up, is read.

Here is an example config.spiderosm.json file:

    "gis_data_dir": "/Users/me/GIS/data",
    "postgis_enabled" : true,
    "postgis_dbname" : "pdx",
    "postgis_srid" : 100001,
    "spatialite_enabled" : false 


If postgis_enabled is set you will need the python package psycopg2:

% pip install --upgrade psycopg2

In addition to postgis_enabled, the following configuration options are supported: postgis_srid, postgis_dbname, postgis_user, postgis_password, postgis_host, and postgis_port.


If spatialite_enabled (see 'Config Files' above) is set you will need the python package pyspatialite:

% pip install --upgrade pyspatialite

In addition to spatiallite_enabled, the spatialite_srid configuration option is supported.

Imposm.parser and .osm.pbf

To parse osm binary files (.osm.pbf) you will need to install imposm.parser. Note, that this is normally not necessary as imposm.parser is not needed for parsing .osm.xml files, and spiderosm's 'default' method of obtaining OSM data is via the overpass API (see bin/ for example.)

Imposm.parser apparently is NOT SUPPORTED ON WINDOWS. It requires protobuf and tokyocabinet. On a Mac these can be installed with Homebrew ( as follows:

% brew install protobuf --with-python
% brew install tokyo-cabinet

Once these dependencies have been installed the imposm.parser python package can be installed with pip:

% pip install --upgrade imposm.parser


The Osr python package allows spiderosm to derive proj4text format projection information from the WKT (.prj file) shapefile information. (Spiderosm uses proj4 to project OSM data to an appropriate planar coordinate system.)

The osr python package can be installed via pip:

% pip GDAL



Try this first! It runs fairly extensive tests of all the spiderosm modules, does not require download of any data, and takes less than a minute to run.


Downloads Berkeley centerline and OSM data for the same area (via the overpass API), generates path networks for both and matches them. Also generates mismatched name report (.csv) and geojson file.

By default all output/intermediary files are written as geojson only. If postgis is enabled output will also be output to postgis ('berkeley' database.) If spatialite is enabled (and postgis isn't) an sqlite database file will be output too. (See the CONFIG section above for how-to enable postgis and spatialite)

This runs in under five minutes on my machine (including download time.) If Postgis or Spatialite is enabled it will take longer.


NOTE: The default bounding box is approximately Portland proper (not the RLIS data extent.) Requires manual download of RLIS streets layer (centerline) data. Downloads OSM data via overpass API. Generates path networks for RLIS (city) data and OSM data, and matches them. Also generates mismatched name report (.csv) and geojson file. By default all output/intermediary files are written as geojson only. If postgis is enabled output will also be output to postgis ('portland' database.) If spatialite is enabled (and postgis isn't) an sqlite database file will be output too. (See the CONFIG section above for how-to enable postgis and spatialite)

This takes about twenty minutes on my machine nearly half of that time is for the rather large OSM download. If Postgis or Spatialite is enabled runtime will go up.


Copy the spiderosm/bin/ top-level (or and modify to suit your needs.

Customization includes specifying such things as input files, an appropriate local projection (spatial reference system) and region bounds. In addition, you will want to customize the _city_pnwk() function in the sample top-level to correspond to your particular jurisdicitional 'centerline' data. This includes specifying how to extract street names form the jurisdicitional attributes, and possible specifying a filter function to exclude extraneous features (e.g. railroad or powerlines.)

Spatial Reference Systems

Input files should be in a locally appropriate projection. OSM data is translated from latlon to the local projection by the code in

Several types of spatial reference system information are used in spiderosm: URL - This is the preferred method for specifying spatial reference systems to spiderosm. It allows the automatic download of much of the information listed below. The URL is also used for the CRS specification in planar (not latlon) geojson output files.
proj4text - Used for conversion of OSM data to appropriate planar coordiantes. Also used when adding spatial reference system definitions to postgis and spatialite databases.
WKT (ESRI .prj files) - Used for adding spatial reference system definitions to postgis and spatialite databases. If the osr package ('%pip GDAL') is installed, spiderosm can derive proj4text automatically from this.
auth_name, auth_srid (e.g. EPSG:32610) - Used for adding spatial reference system definitions to postgis and spatialite databases.
units - Planar coordinates need to be in units of feet or meters. Meters are the default, units of feet need to be specified explicitly.
postgis_srid, spatialite_srid - srid to use in output to spatially enabled databases.

Unfortunately, this can get a little messy. Here is an example spiderosm spatial reference system specification from spiderosm/bin/

# spatial reference system
srs = spiderosm.spatialref.SRS(
        # proj4text missing at url as of 12/27/2014
        proj4text = '+proj=lcc +lat_1=44.33333333333334 +lat_2=46 +lat_0=43.66666666666666 +lon_0=-120.5 +x_0=2500000 +y_0=0 +datum=NAD83 +units=ft +no_defs',

Customizing Canonical Names

You may also want to customize canonical name generation. This is especially desirable if you are working on a region outside of the USA.

Before comparing street names in the OSM and jurisdictional data, names from both sources are 'canonicalized': they are converted to upper-case, special characters are removed, and standard abbreviations are applied. This is so, for example"North Harvard Street" and "N. HARVARD ST" will both be mapped to "N HARVARD ST" and thus match, as they should.

This process can be customized via the following global variables in the spiderosm cannames module:

allowed_chars - characters not in this string are mapped to a space.
ignored_chars - characters in this string are deleted.
word_substitutions - this dictionary specifies conversion (abbreviation) of single words.
mappings - specifies more complex transformations, via regular expressions and format templates.

Here is an example of canonical name customization for Denmark:

import spiderosm.cannames
spiderosm.cannames.allowed_chars = string.ascii_letters + string.digits + "-" + " " + u"æøåÆØÅ" 
spiderosm.cannames.word_substitutions = {

See the source file for details.

Data Formats

GeoJson (.geojson)

Geojson is the primary data format used by the matcher. Geojson is simple and flexible as well as human readable and even editable. Geojson is an emerging standard, supported by many tools including Leaflet, GDAL, QGIS, and ESRI ArcGIS.
In my experience QGIS is very slow on Geojson files: consider PostGIS and Spatialite formats below.

PostGIS and Spatialite

In addition to GeoJson results can be output to PostGIS and Spatialite.
PostGIS requires a running Postgres server. Spatialite is a file based database system (no separate server required.) QGIS is highly optimized for PostGIS. QGIS also is more efficient on Spatialite than GeoJson files.

Shapefiles (.shp)

The ubiquious shapefile format can be imported via the included This version does not directly support shapefile output, though this will likely be added in the future.

OSM (overpass API, .osm.xml, and .osm.pbf)

Import of OSM data is supported via the overpass API. In addition .osm.xml files can be parsed by spiderosm. OSM binary files (.osm.pbf) parsing is currently supported via the optional python package imposm.parser (not available for windows.)

Path Networks (.pnwk.geojson)

The core library does comparisons on "Path Networks" A path network is composed of explicit segments (with associated LineString geo data) and explicit jcts (with associated Point geo data.) A segment has associated From and To jcts. Segments are (directly) connected if and only if they share a common junction. In order to match two networks, the networks must first be converted to path network format. Path networks for OSM data can be generated with Path Networks for Berkeley or RLIS centerline data can be generated with Customization for import of other centerline data is hopefully straight forward.

Path Network Segment Attributes

In the examples, e.g., bin/ the networks are named 'city' and 'osm'. In this case network attributes have the following prefixes (namespaces):

city$ - attributes of the original city (centerline) data
osm$ - attributes of the OpenStreetMaps input data
city_pnwk$ - attributes of the path network generated for the city data.
osm_pnwk$ - attributes of the path network generated for the OSM data.
match$ - attributes assessing the similarity of matched segments, i.e., likelyhood that they are properly matched.

Matched segments in path networks inherit the attributes of both input networks, e.g. both 'city' and 'osm'.

city_pnwk (osm_pnwk)

Note that pnwk segments are derived from splitting segments in the input data, i.e. an osm way is likely split into multiple path network segments.

city_pnwk$from_bearing - compass bearing of segment at it's origin. 0=North, 90=East, etc.
city_pnwk$from_jct_id - id of jct (node/intersection) where this segment originates.
city_pnwk$length - segment length in feet or meters (same units as projection)
city_pnwk$match_id - id of matched segment in osm_pnwk
city_pnwk$match_rev - 1 if sense (direction) of matched segment is reversed
city_pnwk$name - canonical version of segment name(s) used for comparison with other network.
city_pnwk$seg_id - id of this segment
city_pnwk$to_bearing - compass bearing of end of segment (from point of view of end jct.)
city_pnwk$to_jct_id - id of jct (node/intersection) where this segment terminates.

match$avg_bearing_delta - averages difference in bearing for two people walking the segments simultaneously (see DIVERGENCE above)
match$divergence - approximately the largest distance (in meters) between this segment and the matched segment. More accurately imagine, two people starting out at (the same) end of each segment and walking the respective segments to the other end, matching their speed so that they arrive at the end together, and checking the distance between each other at regular intervals. The divergence is the greatest measured distance between the walkers.
match$score - integer between 0 and 100 indicating confidence in segment match. 100 = extremely confident. 0 = exceedingly unlikely the match is correct. This overall match score is obtained by combining name match, geo match, and bearing match scores.
match$score_bearing1 - integer between 0 and 100 based on match$avgBearingDelta
match$score_bearing2 - integer between 0 and 100 rating similarity of the segment bearings at the end points.
match$score_geo1 - integer between 0 and 100 rating similarity of the segment geometries based on match$divergence.
match$score_geo2 - integer between 0 and 100 rating similarity of segment geometries based on ratio of match$divergence to the segment length.
match$score_name - integer between 0 and 100 rating similarity of names between this and matched segment. It is obtained from the ratio of the levenshtein edit distance to the name length.


Spider Open Street Matcher: GIS street network matching library







No releases published


No packages published