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Overpass API python wrapper

Looking for a maintainer Hi there, I am the original author of this project. I no longer have time to maintain it but it looks like it's still useful. I'd like to talk to someone who thinks they can take this on. Drop me a line at Thanks! Martijn van Exel

Python bindings for the OpenStreetMap Overpass API.

Install it

pip install overpass


API() constructor

First, create an API object.

import overpass
api = overpass.API()

The API constructor takes several parameters, all optional:


The default endpoint is but you can pass in another instance:

api = overpass.API(endpoint="https://overpass.myserver/interpreter")


The default timeout is 25 seconds, but you can set it to whatever you want.

api = overpass.API(timeout=600)


Setting this to True will get you debug output.

Getting data from Overpass: get()

Most users will only ever need to use the get() method. There are some convenience query methods for common queries as well, see below.

response = api.get('node["name"="Salt Lake City"]')

response will be a dictionary representing the JSON output you would get from the Overpass API directly.

Note that the Overpass query passed to get() should not contain any out or other meta statements. See verbosity below for how to control the output.

Another example:

>>> print [(
...     feature['properties']['name'],
...     feature['id']) for feature in response["features"]]
[(u'Salt Lake City', 150935219), (u'Salt Lake City', 585370637)]

You can find more examples in the examples/ directory of this repository.

The get() method takes a few parameters, all optional having sensible defaults.


You can set the verbosity of the Overpass query out directive using the same keywords Overpass does. In order of increased verbosity: ids, skel, body, tags, meta. As is the case with the Overpass API itself, body is the default.

>>> import overpass
>>> api = overpass.API()
>>> data = api.get('way(42.819,-73.881,42.820,-73.880);(._;>;)', verbosity='geom')
>>> [f for f in data.features  if f.geometry['type'] == "LineString"]

(from a question on GIS Stackexchange)


You can set the response type of your query using get()'s responseformat parameter to GeoJSON (geojson, the default), plain JSON (json), CSV (csv), and OSM XML (xml).

response = api.get('node["name"="Salt Lake City"]', responseformat="xml")

If you choose csv, you will need to specify which fields you want, as described here in the Overpass QL documentation. An example:

response = api.get('node["name"="Springfield"]["place"]', responseformat="csv(name,::lon,::lat)")

The response will be a list of lists:

    ['name', '@lon', '@lat'],
    ['Springfield', '-3.0645656', '56.2952787'],
    ['Springfield', '0.4937446', '51.7487585'],
    ['Springfield', '-2.4194716', '53.5732892'],
    ['Springfield', '25.5454526', '-33.9814866'],


We will construct a valid Overpass QL query from the parameters you set by default. This means you don't have to include 'meta' statements like [out:json], [timeout:60], [out body], etcetera. You just supply the meat of the query, the part that actually tells Overpass what to query for. If for whatever reason you want to override this and supply a full, valid Overpass QL query, you can set build to False to make the API not do any pre-processing.


You can query the data as it was on a given date. You can give either a standard ISO date alone (YYYY-MM-DD) or a full overpass date and time (YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ, i.e. 2020-04-28T00:00:00Z). You can also directly pass a date or datetime object from the datetime library.

Pre-cooked Queries: MapQuery, WayQuery

In addition to just sending your query and parse the result, overpass provides shortcuts for often used map queries. To use them, just pass them like to normal query to the API.


This is a shorthand for a complete ways and relations query in a bounding box (the 'map call'). You just pass the bounding box to the constructor:

MapQuery = overpass.MapQuery(50.746,7.154,50.748,7.157)
response = api.get(MapQuery)


This is shorthand for getting a set of ways and their child nodes that satisfy certain criteria. Pass the criteria as a Overpass QL stub to the constructor:

WayQuery = overpass.WayQuery('[name="Highway 51"]')
response = api.get(WayQuery)


Using pytest.



I need help or have an idea for a feature

Create a new issue.

Where did the CLI tool go?

The command line tool was deprecated in version 0.4.0.

See also

There are other python modules that do similar things.