I am aware of the great QGIS plugin QuickOSM to download OSM features into QGIS, and I know that QGIS supports importing a .osm file that was downloaded from an exported view like this one, however: how does one import a single OSM feature exported as XML?

  1. Go to an OSM feature, e.g.: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/23922428
  2. Click on "Download XML", which is the same as using this link: https://www.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/way/23922428
  3. Try to import into QGIS

Using QGIS 3.16 on Ubuntu 18.04, the import dialogue asks me what kind of features I want to import, but they are all empty once in the project. I tried using the extensions .xml and .osm on the file, but it didn't help.

Any idea what might be going wrong here?

1 Answer 1


Your link https://www.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/way/23922428 only contains references to the nodes this way consists of, but it doesn't include these nodes directly. Try to add /full at the end of the URL, i.e. try importing https://www.openstreetmap.org/api/0.6/way/23922428/full instead.

  • Fabulous, thank you! I wondering why it isn't giving the full version of it. What would be the use of having the data with only the references? Wouldn't most data users want the full data?
    – stragu
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 1:43
  • Yes, most data users will need the full details. However, this OSM API is not really meant for data users. It is mainly an editing API. On the other hand, the full version is also typically required for editing. So, not really sure why it isn't the default.
    – scai
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 6:57

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