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How to view or import a pbf file (OSM data,binary format) in ArcGIS for Desktop or QGIS?

Are any 3rd party applications needed?

I would like to edit this file on any GIS Software.

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The ArcGIS Editor for OSM ( should allow you to do what you want to do. Data is downloaded via the Xapi.

QGIS has an OpenStreetMap Plugin:

I have only used the QGIS plugin, and it worked well.

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If you want to do the processing up front, outside of a desktop GIS, the bleeding-edge version of GDAL/OGR can read .pbf files and write the data out to a different vector data format: – DavidF Oct 25 '12 at 15:59
The Qgis plugin only accepts .osm data in plain XML. You can use osmconvert to transform the pbf binary format into XML format. – AndreJ Jan 16 '13 at 15:59

brigantine now can view and copy a pbf file (using GDAL Version 1.10 inside)

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

I tried using GDAL, but this is difficult for non-programmers.

This option is way more efficient and easy:

You can convert the file to an .osm, which can be opened through the ArcGIS for OSM tool.

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