ELK- Open Street Maps GIS

Elk is a useful plugin for Rhino Grasshopper that allows you to import OSM data to Grasshopper > Rhino and generates clean urban data in separate layers in just a few mins! This tool can be used to export a site map to AutoCAD, Revit, or even for creating diagrams in Illustrator. 

What is OSM? 

Open Street Maps is a world wide geographic location database put together by contributors and collaborators.

How to Export A OSM File?

You can search for an exact address in the upper left corner or pan the map itself. Once you locate your site or area of a map that you would like to generate you can manually set the boundary and hit the export button to download a .OSM file. 

How to Import A OSM File into Grasshopper?

Save the .OSM file to your project folder or other location. In Grasshopper using the ELK plug in you will right click the Path component and select new file location. 

How does it work? 

The script and layer structure already has been created for you to use. The complete script is a packaged cluster and renamed according to its information typology. For Example, Buildings, Streets, Natural Elements. Elk has many options of mapping layers to turn on and view. 

Mapping Examples: 

Elk is not meant to be used to very large areas. Try keeping the OSM export scale to a neighborhood or building site location. 


There are certainly many more categories and mapping options that come with Elk.

The following are Main mapping layers

  • Buildings

  • Streets

  • Railways

  • Nature

  • Waterways

  • Public Transportation

  • Landuse

  • Highways

  • Boundary

  • Historical 


Within each main layer there is another sublayer. 







  • SHOPS 

  • HOTEL  


How to Auto Bake to assigned Layers in Rhino? 

For each typology you need to simply hit the bake button at the end of the script and the polylines will auto bake to their correct layer type. Please make sure that you have selected the main layer in rhino before hitting the bake button. 

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