Somehow I can't import OSM data to my database. I'm using Debian, PostgreSQL 9.1 and PostGIS 1.5. The user root has been granted all privileges for the database osm.


imposm -U root -d osm -m imposm-mapping.py --read --write --optimize sweden-latest.osm.pbf


Enabling Shapely speedups.
loading imposm-mapping.py as mapping
password for root at localhost:
[16:35:06] ## reading sweden-latest.osm.pbf
[16:35:07] coords: 11724k nodes: 234k ways: 1674k relations: 11k (estimated)
[16:39:56] coords: 17332k nodes: 75k ways: 1445k relations: 7k
[16:39:57] reading took 4 m 51s
[16:39:57] ## dropping/creating tables
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/imposm", line 9, in <module>
    load_entry_point('imposm==2.4.0', 'console_scripts', 'imposm')()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/app.py", line 231, in main
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/db/postgis.py", line 129, in create_tables
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/db/postgis.py", line 160, in create_table
psycopg2.ProgrammingError: permission denied for relation spatial_ref_sys
CONTEXT:  SQL statement "SELECT SRID         FROM spatial_ref_sys WHERE SRID = new_srid"
PL/pgSQL function "addgeometrycolumn" line 75 at SQL statement
SQL statement "SELECT AddGeometryColumn('',$1,$2,$3,$4,$5,$6)"
PL/pgSQL function "addgeometrycolumn" line 5 at SQL statement


And this is what I get when I use the user postgres instead:

[13:36:35] ## dropping/creating tables
[13:36:36] ## writing data
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/imposm", line 9, in <module>
    load_entry_point('imposm==2.4.0', 'console_scripts', 'imposm')()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/app.py", line 243, in main
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/writer.py", line 52, in relation                                    s
    cache = self.cache.relations_cache()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/cache/osm.py", line 59, in relat                                    ions_cache
    return self._x_cache(self.relations_fname, RelationDB, mode, estimated_recor                                    ds)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/imposm/cache/osm.py", line 68, in _x_ca                                    che
    cache = x_class(x, mode, estimated_records=estimated_records)
  File "tc.pyx", line 104, in imposm.cache.tc.BDB.__init__ (imposm/cache/tc.c:12                                    63)
IOError: 3
  • Looks like you do not have the rights to change spatial_ref_sys.
    – AndreJ
    Mar 25, 2013 at 18:58
  • How do I get those rights then? :-) I'm used to MySQL, so this is completely new to me.
    – Ivar
    Mar 26, 2013 at 13:42
  • I only know the way I could do that under Windos with pgAdminIII. In the osm database, under schema/public/tables, I see that the table spatial_ref_sys is not owned by the osm user, but by user postgres. Right-clicking on the table allows to change that in Settings.
    – AndreJ
    Mar 26, 2013 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


Try importing your data using user postgres (-u postgres). Before you complain ;) you don't know the password for that user, do the following:

sudo su postgres
(type your password)
ALTER USER postgres WITH PASSWORD 'set_your_pass_here';
  • I tested to use postgres as well, see my edit. :-)
    – Ivar
    Mar 26, 2013 at 13:40

IOError: 3 translates to 'No such process'.

That makes me believe that you might not have installed postgis correctly?

For postgis2.0 and above it's as simple as



The error

File "tc.pyx", line 104, in imposm.cache.tc.BDB.__init__ (imposm/cache/tc.c:1263)`
IOError: 3

refers (I think) that it cannot find the Tokyo Cabinet Library.

At line 103-104 at tc.pyx the code does a check if the library is loaded. Maybe you haven't installed imposm dependencies correctly?

You can check more information about how you can do it here.

  • I'm using PostGIS 1.5, does that matter?
    – Ivar
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:42
  • It should't. Check the edit
    – nickves
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:55
  • I removed imposm, reinstalled all dependencies and then installed imposm though pip instead of apt-get. That solved the problem! Thank you for the advice. :-)
    – Ivar
    Mar 28, 2013 at 16:38

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