Pelias import pipeline for OpenAddresses.
orangejulius Merge pull request #410 from pelias/improved-parallel-build
feat(parallel): improve paralell script
Latest commit 6cef1ce Nov 11, 2018

This repository is part of the Pelias project. Pelias is an open-source, open-data geocoder originally sponsored by Mapzen. Our official user documentation is here.

Pelias OpenAddresses importer

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The OpenAddresses importer is used to process data from OpenAddresses for import into the Pelias geocoder.


Node.js is required. See Pelias software requirements for supported versions.


For instructions on setting up Pelias as a whole, see our getting started guide. Further instructions here pertain to the OpenAddresses importer only

git clone
cd openaddresses
npm install

Data Download

Use the imports.openaddresses.files configuration option to limit the download to just the OpenAddresses files of interest. Refer to the OpenAddresses data listing for file names.

npm run download


# show full command line options
node import.js --help

# run an import
npm start

Admin Lookup

OpenAddresses records do not contain information about which city, state (or other region like province), or country that they belong to. Pelias has the ability to compute these values from Who's on First data. For more info on how admin lookup works, see the documentation for pelias/wof-admin-lookup. By default, adminLookup is enabled. To disable, set imports.adminLookup.enabled to false in Pelias config.

Note: Admin lookup requires loading around 5GB of data into memory.


This importer can be configured in pelias-config, in the imports.openaddresses hash. A sample configuration file might look like this:

  "esclient": {
    "hosts": [
        "env": "development",
        "protocol": "http",
        "host": "localhost",
        "port": 9200
  "logger": {
    "level": "debug"
  "imports": {
    "whosonfirst": {
      "datapath": "/mnt/data/whosonfirst/",
      "importPostalcodes": false,
      "importVenues": false
    "openaddresses": {
      "datapath": "/mnt/data/openaddresses/",
      "files": [ "us/ny/city_of_new_york.csv" ]

The following configuration options are supported by this importer.

key required default description
datapath yes The absolute path of the directory containing OpenAddresses files. Must be specified if no directory is given as a command-line argument.
files no An array of the names of the files to download/import. If specified, only these files will be downloaded and imported, rather than all .csv files in the given directory. If the array is empty, all files will be downloaded and imported. Refer to the OpenAddresses data listing for file names.
missingFilesAreFatal no false If set to true, any missing files will immediately halt the importer with an error. Otherwise, the importer will continue processing with a warning

Parallel Importing

Because OpenAddresses consists of many small files, this importer can be configured to run several instances in parallel that coordinate to import all the data.

To use this functionality, replace calls to npm start with

npm run parallel 3 # replace 3 with your desired level of paralellism

Generally, a paralellism of 2 or 3 is suitable for most tasks.