I have a gigantic OSM geodata file of a city, and I want to split it into smaller files according to each group of tags.

I googled it up and i found that there is a jar file caller splitter.jar . i downloaded it and made a test with a small osm geodata, but what i got is a .pbf file which is not readable.

is there any recommended software to split the osm data or i have to do it programmatically?

2 Answers 2


The "swiss-knife" for OpenStreetMap data is osmosis. It's a command-line Java application for linux and windows. Learn-OSM provides a great introduction for new users. With osmosis you can split OSM files by a bbox, a polygon or by specific tags. Check out the latest detailed usage wiki page for more information.


You want to use Osmosis.

Example with pbf file (much much smaller - it's binary rather than text!):

osmosis --read-pbf city.pbf\
        --tf accept-ways cycleway=track,lane\
        --used-node --write-xml citycycling.osm

or with an osm XML file:

osmosis --read-xml city.osm\
        --tf accept-ways highway=*\
        --used-node --write-xml highways.osm
  • 3 mins to slow ... :) Dec 1, 2015 at 15:23
  • You provide some better resources though :)
    – Cyrille
    Dec 1, 2015 at 15:24

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