I am used to digitizing stuff using JOSM, the Java OpenStreetMap editor. Recently, I tried some digitizing in QGIS and it felt rather clumsy.

What I was missing specifically was an equivalent to the "w"-tool in JOSM ("improve way accuracy, https://josm.openstreetmap.de/wiki/Help/Action/ImproveWayAccuracy), which lets you add and move nodes in linestrings/polygons with single clicks. In my QGIS (3.4) to add nodes to a polygon I needed to click on the cross between two existing nodes and then on the place where I wanted the new node to be. The JOSM tool would have allowed me to ctrl-click to add new nodes. This saves one click and mouse movement per new node.

Are there plugins that allow for faster drawing and modification of lines and polygons?

1 Answer 1


As you do, I really like the JOSM digitizing tool. The "W" function but also the way to modify attribute or copy and paste some of them, the support for geolocated audio note...

In QGIS I found nothing to do this. The solution I founded is to do my digitizing work in JOSM. Here are two solutions :

  1. If your digitizing work could benefit to OpenStreetMap and could have a definition in OpenStreetMap, do the modification in the OpenStreetMap data and then download your data to use it in QGIS. You can find the right use of OpenStreetMap tag in the wiki and you will not start from blank data. If you do digitizing work on some type of feature you could do Overpass querry to import only the data you want to edit or you can use JOSM filter to see only the tag you are interested in.
  2. If your digitizing work could not be shared in OpenStreetMap then create a new layer in JOSM, do your digitizing work on it (you will have minimalistic rendering for point and line) and then save the result as geojson. As you are not creating data for OpenStreetMap there is some source that you could not use due to licence. Note : To save a polygon as a polygon in your geojson file you need to add the tag area = yes, after the import in QGIS you can drop this column.

Happy digitizing !

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