All new data and modifications to OpenStreetMap go through the editing API, which is generally accessed from one of various editing tools written and maintained by the OpenStreetMap community. Therefore, understanding the API and the data model it is built on, is very important when building tools which interact with OpenStreetMap data.

The data model

The data model is an abstract view of how data is stored in OpenStreetMap.

For specifics on how data is stored, see the sections on the database, data dumps and data diffs.


Editing sessions