When trying to download OSM data in QGIS 2.8 I am using a layer to provide the extend for the requested data. The extend basically covers all the countries that share coast line of the Baltic sea (Russia only a small bit).

Now when I start the download process the process always fails with: Network request http://overpass-api.de/api/interpreter?data=(node(47.2701,5.86667,70.0924,41.3899);<;);out; time out

My questions:

  1. is the extend to big?
  2. is the amount of data requested to big?
  3. is there an error in the network request?
  4. is the function faulty in QGIS 2.8?
  5. is there another way to extract OSM data, based on a given spatial extent?

3 Answers 3


The extent (and the data volume) is definitely too big.

Alternatively, use QuickOSM to filter the items you want, or Geofabrik daily extracts.

  • Are there any specifics on how big the extend and7or the data volume can be? I was also trying to download only for Denmark and that fails as well. Anyway, thanks for the fast reply! Jun 25, 2015 at 9:40
  • There is no limit published, but think of the file sizes at Geofabrik. You can not expect to get that amount out of a database over a web service On-the-fly. Uusally Overpass terminates after 25 seconds. The data size might be some Megabytes (uncompressed), but not Gigabytes.
    – AndreJ
    Jun 25, 2015 at 11:12
  • Do you really want each and every detail in the bbox? Then you're probably better off with a Europe extract from Geofabrik - or - even a OSM planet file. Your current query simply uses too much main memory and is cancelled rather quickly by Overpass API. If you only want to process specific data from OSM, you need to add additional filter criteria to your Overpass QL query so it only returns the data you're interested in. Downloading everything from Overpass API and then filtering in QGIS is definitively not an option given the size of your extent!
    – mmd
    Jun 28, 2015 at 17:47

The limit for QGIS is still less than that of overpass-api. Some queries that just run in overpass gives timeout error in qgis. So it is better to get the data from other sources, especially when you need large areas.

  • Exactly. The error message is misleading. The problem has been recognized. I opened a ticket at github.com/3liz/QuickOSM/issues/402. The timeout can be changed in the QGIS network settings.
    – Tobias
    May 10, 2022 at 9:54

You have to click under 'Advanced' button and change the timeout settings to a larger period of time (e.g. 60s, 120s)

To reduce the searching time, you can selected only the features you need

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.