OpenStreetMap Downloader

This tool fetches building (‘structure’) and highway (‘road’) data from the OpenStreetMap project for you.

OpenStreetMap Downloader

OpenStreetMap Downloader

The tool requires an internet connection as it fetches the data via a web service running on Linfiniti’s OSM Reporter website.

The data, once downloaded, becomes available as a shapefile. A style file is automatically created so that it symbolises nicely in QGIS. In addition, the correct keyword metadata is created for the downloaded dataset so that it can be used directly in InaSAFE impact scenario analyses.


The downloader service has limitations as to the size of datasets that can be retrieved. As such you may experience issues trying to fetch large amounts of data, such as country-wide building footprint data. Generally datasets at a city level and below should work well.

To use this tool effectively:

  • Use QGIS to zoom in to the area for which you want building data to be retrieved. For fine-grained control, you can set the bounding box manually in the area provided at the bottom of the dialog.
  • Check that the output directory is correct. Note that the saved datasets will be called buildings.shp and roads.shp (and their associated files).
  • By default simple file names will be used (e.g. roads.shp, buildings.shp). If you wish you can specify a prefix to add in front of this default name. For example using a prefix of ‘padang-‘ will cause the downloaded files to be saved as padang-roads.shp and padang-buildings.shp. Note that the only allowed prefix characters are A-Z, a-z, 0-9 and the characters ‘-‘ and ‘_’. You can leave this blank if you prefer.
  • Click OK to retrieve the data.


If a dataset already exists in the output directory it will be overwritten. This tool requires a working internet connection and fetching buildings will consume your bandwidth.


Downloaded data is copyright OpenStreetMap contributors (click for more info).

Building data

InaSAFE supports the use of building data in various impact functions. In particular we support building footprints sourced from the OpenStreetMap project (OSM).

The following building types are derived (depending on the various tags assigned to them in OSM):

  • School
  • University/College
  • Government
  • Clinic/Doctor
  • Hospital
  • Fire Station
  • Police Station
  • Public Building
  • Place of Worship - Islam
  • Place of Worship - Unitarian
  • Place of Worship - Buddhist
  • Place of Worship - Unitarian
  • Supermarket
  • Residential
  • Sports Facility
  • Place of Worship
  • Commercial
  • Industrial

These derived types will be present in a field called ‘type’ when downloading the building data. Note that depending on the area for which you have downloaded, only some of these categories may be present in your buildings dataset.

Roads data

InaSAFE supports the use of road data in various impact functions. In particular we support roads sourced from the OpenStreetMap project (OSM).

The following road types are derived (depending on the various tags assigned to them in OSM):

  • Motorway / highway (includes ‘trunk’ from OSM)
  • Motorway link
  • Primary road
  • Primary link
  • Tertiary
  • Tertiary link
  • Secondary
  • Secondary link
  • Road, residential, living street, etc. (includes all highways tagged with ‘living_street’, ‘residential’, ‘yes’, ‘road’, ‘unclassified’, ‘service’, ‘’ and NULL highways)
  • Track
  • Cycleway, footpath, etc. (includes ‘cycleway’, ‘footpath’, ‘pedestrian’, ‘footway’ and ‘path’ highway tags).


The roads data is symbolised using a rule based renderer in QGIS. As you zoom out the roads will be rendered using different styles to avoid an overly cluttered map at small scales.