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Does anyone know if there are any good methods or apps to access and download the metadata of OSM from desktop?

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    What exactly do you mean by "metadata of OSM"? The history of objects? The source tag? – neuhausr Jan 31 '12 at 14:17
  • please expand on what information - metadata – Mapperz Jan 31 '12 at 14:27
  • I am sorry that I didn't make the term metadata clear. What I want is actually the time when the data uploaded by specific users was downloaded and edited. Thank you very much for your kind reminding. – Yvan Jan 31 '12 at 18:15
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http://planet.openstreetmap.org has a changeset file you can download, which includes information about each change made to the database. Look for changesets-latest.osm.bz2.

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If by "metadata" you mean vector data, then there are several ways to do it. But it depends on your needs.

These two ways allow you to specify a map area you're interested in (but the size of the area is limited):

  1. http://www.openstreetmap.org/export - choose "OpenStreetMap XML Data"
  2. Using Maperitive (see the first two steps).

If you need the whole world, download the planet.osm. You will however need a lot of HW resources, so good luck with that.

There are also extracts for countries/parts of countries on Geofabrik and Cloudmade.

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    Thank you very much for your answers. But what I really mean about the term metadata is data about data which can be information about contributors who upload and edit the map. And here what I specially concern about is the time data which describes the uploading, editing and downloading time of the data. Still, as an OSM newie, I have been benefited a lot from your answers about vector data retrieving techniques. – Yvan Jan 31 '12 at 18:22
  • @IgorBrejc Were you referring to GPS Coordinates from vector data? Or were you specifically referring to Vector Data instead of Raster Data as per this Difference between Raster and Vector Data I apologize in advance, if this seems confusing or what I am saying may not make sense. I am very new to this space, and am trying to understand it better. From what I understand, Raster is a more efficient way of getting GPS "metadata" the underlying coordinates of (GPS) in my case, that help depict an area on a map that can be linked to a map. – Ted Taylor of Life Jan 21 '17 at 11:17
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For inspiration, check out the blog posting "OpenStreetMap: a Year of Edits" by Derick Rethans (http://drck.me/osmyoe11-9nz). He discusses how he got hold of the changes in the OSM data set that happened in 2011 and how he made a beautiful video out of it. Intrigued to learn what use you are investiging!

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