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Embedding OSM object histories from planet-history into GeoJSON objects for historical OSM-QA-Tiles with libosmium and RocksDB
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Creates a RocksDB key-value store of each version of OSM objects found in OSM history files. This history index can then be used to augment GeoJSON files of OSM objects to add a @history property that includes a record of all previous edits.

osm-wayback is currently designed to support large(ish)-scale historical analysis of OpenStreetMap edits, specifically focused on how objects change overtime (and who is editing them).

Current Development Notes:

  1. The history is index is keyed by osm-id+"!"+version (with separate column families for nodes, ways, and relations).

  2. add_history will lookup every previous version of an object passed into it. If an object is passed in at version 3, it will look up versions 1,2, and 3. This is necessary for the tag comparisons. In the event there exists a version 4 in the index, it will not be included because version 3 was fed into add_history.

  3. Since add_history is driven by a stream of (current, valid) GeoJSON objects, deleted objects are not yet supported.


Install mason to manage dependencies

git submodule init
git submodule update

Then build with cmake:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..

To use the script, also run the following:

.mason/mason install osmium 1.9.1
.mason/mason link osmium 1.9.1

.mason/mason install tippecanoe 1.31.0
.mason/mason link tippecanoe 1.31.0

cd geometry-reconstruction
npm install


A canned workflow:

The script automates all of the steps to turn OSM history files into historical vector tiles with only 2 inputs: OSM_HISTORY_FILE and ROOT_FOR_OUTPUT.

For example, to run generate historical vector tiles from the albany example file included in example/history_of_albandy.osh.pbf:

$ ./ example/history_of_albany.osh.pbf example/albany

This will create the following files in the example directory (in the following order):

File Description
albany.osm.pbf Latest version of (all) objects in history_of_albany.osh.pbf
albany.geojsonseq GeoJSON sequence of objects exported by osmium export with the example/osmiumconfig configuration. (Not ALL OSM objects, only what osmium understands)
albany_INDEX The RocksDB Index of history_of_albany.osh.pbf
albany.history Each OSM object from albany.geojsonseq with an additional @history property that contains each previous (major) version (see for more on this schema)
albany.history.geometries Each feature from albany.history enriched with an additional nodeLocations attribute storing the location of every version of every node ever associated with each object.
Each feature from albany.history.geometries with a TopoJSON encoded @history attribute that describes each historical version (including minor versions) with geometries
albany_historical.mbtiles Historical vector tiles rendered at zoom 15 for albany!

Note that once run, each of these files are standalone and can be deleted in the order they are generated. Each file is used only as the input to the next function. This workflow is the result of each utility here relyong on standalone input. For example, you could build a North-America INDEX and then lookup history for just new_york.geojsonseq. Looking up node locations will always require a second pass after histories are built. Separating these files and steps adds negligible time cost and allows tag-only history analysis.

The complete workflow

First build up a historic lookup index. Note: For large files (Country / Planet), increase ulimit so that RocksDB can have many files open at once (>4000 for the full planet history file).

build_lookup_index INDEX_DIR OSM_HISTORY_FILE

Second, pass a stream of GeoJSON features as produced by osmium-export to the add_history function

cat features.geojsonseq | add_history INDEX_DIR

The output is a stream of augmented GeoJSON features with an additional @history array (see for more on the schema of @history. Note: If a feature is not in the input file, it's history will not be in the output file.

Historic Geometries

A fourth column family storing node locations can be created during build_lookup_index, depending on the value of the variable, LOC in build_lookup_index.cpp.

If the node location column family exists, the HISTORY GEOJSONSEQ may be passed to add_geometry. This function looks up every version of every node in each historical version of the object. It adds nodeLocations as a top-level dictionary, keyed by node ID and then changeset ID for each node.

cat <HISTORY GEOJSONSEQ> | add_geometry <ROCKSDB> 

Will create a line-delimited stream of GeoJSON OSM objects with the nodeLocations attribute.

Reconstructing historical geometries (available for nodes & ways) is then done in a separate process in geometry-reconstruction:

node geometry-reconstruction/index.js <HISTORY GEOJSONSEQ with Node Locations>  

Currently, multiple output types are supported, see geometry-reconstruction/ for more information about the following output types:

  1. Every major and minor version are independent objects (Best for rendering historical geometries)
  2. Entries in the @history object include geometry attribute (Best for historical analysis)
  3. The @history object is a TopoJSON object, storing every version of the object. (More efficient than 2.)
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