Converting a pbf downloaded from Geofabrik

While it might make sense to convert a pbf into a postgis database using something like OSM2pgsql, I often just want to convert a pbf file to a spatialite file. 

Why convert pbf to spatialite?  pbf takes forever to load.

In Terminal on a Mac, I typed  ogr2ogr -f SQLite [my].sqlite [file].pbf.

I think ogr2ogr is available as part of GDAL if you\’ve followed the instructions correctly for installing QGIS.  More on what OGR stands for is on the FAQ page.  Basically, it\’s a prefix to a simple features library… Whatever that means.

So, for California I typed in

ogr2ogr -f SQLite california.sqlite

And then I dragged the california-latest.osm.pbf file onto the terminal to get the correct path to the file.

So, it looked like this

ogr2ogr -f SQLite california.sqlite /Users/macbook/Downloads/california-latest.osm.pbf

The result went into the home directory, and I just moved it to a desired location.


I opened the spatialite file in QGIS and saved my queries to a GeoPackage.