What works

If I need a GeoJSON file with the OpenStreetMap borders of Liechtenstein, I download liechtenstein-latest.osm.pbf from GeoFabrik:

curl https://download.geofabrik.de/europe/liechtenstein-latest.osm.pbf -o liechtenstein-latest.osm.pbf

Search for Liechtenstein OpenStreetMap and get its relation id (1155955):

enter image description here

Then, using ogr2ogr, I create liechtenstein_borders.geojson:

ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON \
        -dialect sqlite \
        -sql "SELECT * FROM multipolygons WHERE osm_id=='1155955'" \
        liechtenstein_borders.geojson liechtenstein-latest.osm.pbf \
        -nln main

The resulting GeoJSON nicely has a Liechtenstein shape:

enter image description here

What does not work

The same method does not work for Norway. Relation id: 2978650.

Download data:

curl https://download.geofabrik.de/europe/norway-latest.osm.pbf -o norway-latest.osm.pbf

Attempt extraction:

ogr2ogr -f GeoJSON \
        -dialect sqlite \
        -sql "SELECT * FROM other_relations WHERE osm_id=='2978650'" \
        norway_borders.geojson norway-latest.osm.pbf \
        -nln main

Result is an empty GeoJSON:

enter image description here


What didn't I take into account when expecting the Norway-case to work just like the Liechtenstein one, and how can I fix the method? Ideally, I would like to be able to extract the geometry after having found the relation id.

2 Answers 2


The relation is outside the cropped area from Geofabrik extract e.g right map at https://download.geofabrik.de/europe/norway.html That's why you do not get it.

Two alternatives approaches using jq, curl, ogr2ogr and query-overpass (Node.js based CLI)

  1. Using Overpass
echo "[out:json][timeout:300];(relation(2978650););(._;>>;);out body;>;out skel qt;" | query-overpass | jq -c '{"type": "FeatureCollection", "name": "my_selection", "features": [.features[] | select( .geometry.type == "Polygon" or .geometry.type == "MultiPolygon")]}' | ogr2ogr -dialect SQLite -f GeoJSON /tmp/output_norway_approach1.geojson /vsistdin/ -sql "SELECT 'Norway' AS name, ST_Union(geometry) AS geometry FROM my_selection"
  1. Using polygons export from relation
curl -s "https://polygons.openstreetmap.fr/get_geojson.py?id=2978650&params=0" | jq -c '{"type": "FeatureCollection", "name": "my_selection", "features": [.geometries[] | {"type":"Feature","properties":{"name": "Norway"},"geometry": .}]}' >| output_norway_approach2.geojson

Second approach could be easily automated within Python if necessary

PS: There are some ways for improvements as in both cases, I do not bother about attributes of the relation and only care about geometry.


The accepted answer works. If one prefers ogr2ogr over jq, they can do:

curl "https://polygons.openstreetmap.fr/get_geojson.py?id=2978650&params=0" -o borders.geojsonseq \
    && ogr2ogr borders.geojson borders.geojsonseq

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