I need to query the Overpass API for some data that comes down to the question:

Give the set of nodes that is not contained (in spatial terms) in a set of areas (given by closed ways).

I looked into Overpass documentation and on the wiki (https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Overpass_API/Overpass_QL#Map_way/relation_to_area_(map_to_area) and https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Overpass_API/Overpass_API_by_Example), but I fail to see how to use area, and other query methods can make my query.

The areas (residential areas): https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/SgN

The points (places): https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/SgQ

My best try that doesnt work (https://overpass-turbo.eu/s/SgO):



(.b; - .a;);

The entire query can be scoped to bbox.

1 Answer 1


What you're trying to do is currently not supported (as of release 0.7.56).

Reason being that the residential areas you want to use as an area don't have a name= tag. Hence, there's no corresponding area object on the Overpass server available.

area["landuse"="residential"]({{bbox}})->.searchArea; essentially returns an empty result in your case. Also note, that BBOX filter cannot be combined with area[...] queries.

This issue is being tracked in https://github.com/drolbr/Overpass-API/issues/77

  • Thank you for this information. I had not yet found that issue.
    – Hidde
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 8:54

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