PBF .pbf, OSM, O5M

PBF format is OpenStreetMap (OSM) native Protocol Binary Format (PBF), a vector format that provides total, native access to every detail of OSM data using OSM's recommended format. Manifold also reads OpenStreetMap OSM and O5M formats.


Important: PBF is a complicated format internally: imports are slow.



To import from PBF format:


  1. Choose File-Import from the main menu.

  2. In the Import dialog browse to the folder containing data of interest.

  3. Double-click the file ending in .pbf for the data of interest.

  4. Tables and a drawing and other components, such as labels, will be created.



The drawing file above is the main component of interest, providing a mix of points, lines and areas using default formatting.  



The illustration above shows a view zoomed into the drawing, near downtown Boston.  We typically will want to create separate drawings for the points, lines and areas from the drawing.  This is easy to do by using the Select pane to select all areas, copy them, paste into a new table and then create a drawing from that table, and so on for lines and points.



With the focus on the open drawing, using the Select pane, we click on the Areas template.



Right away, the template shows in blue preview color the areas that will be selected.    We press the Replace Selection button in the Select pane.



That selects the areas, which right away are shown in red selection color.  We choose Edit - Copy to copy the selected areas to the Clipboard.



We click on the Project pane and choose Edit - Paste.   That pastes the copied areas from the clipboard as a new table, called boston_massachusetts 2.   We change the name of the table to boston_massachusetts areas, a more useful name.    We Right-click onto the new table and in the context menu choose Create - New Drawing.



In the New Drawing dialog we leave default settings as is, but we must specify the coordinate system by clicking the coordinate system picker button.



In the resulting menu we choose Latitude / Longitude and then we press Create Drawing.



A new drawing appears in our project.     We can repeat the procedure above to copy the lines (using the Lines template in the Select pane), to paste them as a table and then to create a new drawing using that lines table.   We can then again repeat the procedure to copy points (using the Points template in the Select pane) from the original drawing and to make a new points drawing.



In the display above, we have created a new Map, we have created a Bing Streets imageserver data source and dropped that as a layer into the map, and then we have dragged and dropped the new areas drawing we created into the map.   We have zoomed into the map to view the downtown region of Boston.  



We can color the areas using the ColorBrewer CB Paired palette, coloring stroke color in a darker shade at the same time we color the fill color.  We use the OSM id for a formatting field.  That has no significance other than as a number to assign varied colors to different areas.



The result shows a more interesting display.



We can also drop the lines drawing into map, coloring the lines using the ColorBrewer CB Pastel B palette with a halo in black that is one point thicker than the line.   The result shows the wonderful detail of OSM PBF data.


Not for the Faint of Heart - PBF is the native format of OpenStreetMap, and requires significant learning to utilize to full advantage.  Many users prefer to work with extractions from OSM in shapefile form.


Why Latitude / Longitude?  -  When we created the areas drawing, how did we know in the New Drawing dialog to change the coordinate system to Latitude / Longitude?    When we had the focus on the original boston_massachusetts Drawing, from which we copied the areas, we could have taken a look at the Component pane to see that the drawing used Latitude / Longitude.   Any geometry pasted from that drawing therefore also must be in Latitude / Longitude.


See Also





Select Pane




Example: Create a Drawing from a Geocoded Table - A partner example to Example: Create a Geocoded Table from a Drawing   A geocoded table has records with a latitude and longitude for each record.   This example starts with a table containing a list of cities with a latitude and longitude field for the location of each city.   We create a geom from the latitude and longitude fields using a template in the Transform pane and then we create a drawing that shows the cities as points.  This example shows all the infrastructure steps involved.



Manifold Future - Easy to Use Large OSM Data -  An out-of-date video shot for Manifold Future that is still useful: it shows how to use the Edit Query button in the Select dialog to create a query that does the selection of areas, lines or points as desired.  We can then edit the query to create a table in a single step by using SELECT ... INTO.