This page contains instructions for setting up multiple countries in your Nominatim database. It is assumed that you have already successfully installed the Nominatim software itself, if not return to the installation page.
Importing multiple regions (without updates)
To import multiple regions in your database you can simply give multiple OSM files to the import command:
nominatim import --osm-file file1.pbf --osm-file file2.pbf
If you already have imported a file and want to add another one, you can use the add-data function to import the additional data as follows:
nominatim add-data --file <FILE> nominatim refresh --postcodes nominatim index -j <NUMBER OF THREADS>
Please note that adding additional data is always significantly slower than the original import.
Importing multiple regions (with updates)
If you want to import multiple regions and be able to keep them up-to-date
with updates, then you can use the scripts provided in the
These scripts will set up an
update directory in your project directory,
which has the following structure:
update ├── europe │ ├── andorra │ │ └── sequence.state │ └── monaco │ └── sequence.state └── tmp └── europe ├── andorra-latest.osm.pbf └── monaco-latest.osm.pbf
sequence.state files contain the sequence ID for each region. They will
be used by pyosmium to get updates. The
tmp folder is used for import dump and
can be deleted once the import is complete.
Setting up multiple regions
Create a project directory as described for the
simple import. If necessary,
you can also add an
.env configuration with customized options. In particular,
you need to make sure that
NOMINATIM_REPLICATION_RECHECK_INTERVAL are set according to the update
interval of the extract server you use.
Copy the scripts
into the project directory.
Now customize both files as per your requirements
List of countries. e.g.
URL to the service providing the extracts and updates. eg:
Followup in the update script can be set according to your installation. E.g. for Photon,
will handle the indexing.
To start the initial import, change into the project directory and run
Updating the database
Change into the project directory and run the following command:
This will get diffs from the replication server, import diffs and index the database. The default replication server in the script(Geofabrik) provides daily updates.
Using an external PostgreSQL database
You can install Nominatim using a database that runs on a different server when you have physical access to the file system on the other server. Nominatim uses a custom normalization library that needs to be made accessible to the PostgreSQL server. This section explains how to set up the normalization library.
The external module is only needed when using the legacy tokenizer. If you have chosen the ICU tokenizer, then you can ignore this section and follow the standard import documentation.
Option 1: Compiling the library on the database server
The most sure way to get a working library is to compile it on the database server. From the prerequisites you need at least cmake, gcc and the PostgreSQL server package.
Clone or unpack the Nominatim source code, enter the source directory and create and enter a build directory.
cd Nominatim mkdir build cd build
Now configure cmake to only build the PostgreSQL module and build it:
cmake -DBUILD_IMPORTER=off -DBUILD_API=off -DBUILD_TESTS=off -DBUILD_DOCS=off -DBUILD_OSM2PGSQL=off .. make
When done, you find the normalization library in
Copy it to a place where it is readable and executable by the PostgreSQL server
Option 2: Compiling the library on the import machine
You can also compile the normalization library on the machine from where you run the import.
You can only do this when the database server and the import machine have the same architecture and run the same version of Linux. Otherwise there is no guarantee that the compiled library is compatible with the PostgreSQL server running on the database server.
Make sure that the PostgreSQL server package is installed on the machine with the same version as on the database server. You do not need to install the PostgreSQL server itself.
Download and compile Nominatim as per standard instructions. Once done, you find
the normalization library in
build/module/nominatim.so. Copy the file to
the database server at a location where it is readable and executable by the
PostgreSQL server process.
Running the import
On the client side you now need to configure the import to point to the
correct location of the library on the database server. Add the following
line to your your
NOMINATIM_DATABASE_MODULE_PATH="<directory on the database server where nominatim.so resides>"
Now change the
NOMINATIM_DATABASE_DSN to point to your remote server and continue
to follow the standard instructions for importing.
Moving the database to another machine
For some configurations it may be useful to run the import on one machine, then move the database to another machine and run the Nominatim service from there. For example, you might want to use a large machine to be able to run the import quickly but only want a smaller machine for production because there is not so much load. Or you might want to do the import once and then replicate the database to many machines.
The important thing to keep in mind when transferring the Nominatim installation is that you need to transfer the database and the project directory. Both parts are essential for your installation.
The Nominatim database can be transferred using the
Make sure to use the same version of PostgreSQL and PostGIS on source and
Before creating a dump of your Nominatim database, consider running
nominatim freeze first. Your database looses the ability to receive further
data updates but the resulting database is only about a third of the size
of a full database.
Next install Nominatim on the target machine by following the standard installation instructions. Again, make sure to use the same version as the source machine.
Create a project directory on your destination machine and set up the
file to match the configuration on the source machine. Finally run
nominatim refresh --website
to make sure that the local installation of Nominatim will be used.
If you are using the legacy tokenizer you might also have to switch to the
PostgreSQL module that was compiled on your target machine. If you get errors
that PostgreSQL cannot find or access
nominatim.so then rerun
nominatim refresh --functions
on the target machine to update the the location of the module.