Caribou - An[other] Open Street Map importer for GH macOS/Windows

Caribou has been out in the wild for awhile now, but hasn’t been officially announced to this forum. Caribou imports Open Street Map and was developed to build upon Elk’s workflow by making it cross-platform, faster, and more extensible.

The full feature set (copy/pasted from the documentation) is:

  • :white_check_mark: Windows and MacOS are both fully supported on Rhino 6 and Rhino 7
  • :white_check_mark: Very fast parsing of even very large files
  • :white_check_mark: Data-rich GUI interface provided for understanding and filtering OSM metadata
  • :white_check_mark: Parsing is performed asynchronously so Grasshopper remains responsive
  • :white_check_mark: Parses multiple OSM files simultaneously with de-duplication of geometry
  • :white_check_mark: Allows for querying for arbitrary data outside of the primary OSM features/sub-features taxonomy
  • :white_check_mark: Outputs are tree-formatted and organised per data-type to allow for downstream filtering, tagging, baking, etc

I’ve also just completed a pair of YouTube tutorials on the basic and more customised workflow for the plugin:

Caribou is also open source. Pull and feature requests welcome. I expect i’ll drop the beta label in a few months.


Around 2:30 of the first video: TestPackageManager for Rhino 6 does the same as PackageManager for Rhino 7.

It isn’t as optimized as the Rhino 7 package manager, but should work just fine

Thanks, that’s super useful to know. I’m unlikely to re-record that video anytime soon, but I’ll update some of the other documentation.

I also added a comment to your video, so users can see it there too (:

I wasn’t expecting a re-recording, just throwing the info out there so readers are aware.

The Caribou component worked very nicely with the patches I got from my home town. Not many building info on OSM from here unfortunately.

Hi Philip -

Is there reason for not allowing the package manager on Rhino 8 to find and install this?

Nice that you can keep on working while the data is being parsed! I went for a quick stress test with one of the osm files that I had laying around - importing buildings in Kyoto from a 200 MB file took about 10 minutes. 44 km across and 150 000+ building shapes. 75 000+ *ways took about 6 minutes.

I have a 15 GB osm file on disk but I’ll need a new computer before attempting to do anything with that.

Hi @wim, thanks for taking it for a spin. I’m hoping to get around to further performance improvements (parallelism etc) — I just need to finish setting up a performance benchmark I can run outside of Rhino. The async implementation was generously provided by the specklers.

I’d forgotten about Rhino8 support; will add that over the next few days.

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hi @Philip3 as a mac user i today stumbled over your plugin with the guidance of your very cool aussie accent sounding tutorial and for the first time was able to load in some geometry from buildings i have sought after for a very long time. there was no plugin for mac available at all before at least not when i looked in 2017 i have not followed it after that too much and even if there was, thank you very much for doing this!

one important question pops into my mind, having a topography focused site, how would i create a topography and map the buildings onto it? right now the buildings are all at the same level.

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Hey, great to hear that you found the plugin useful! Although I live in Australia, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that my accent is from New Zealand.

The issue of topography is a little tricky. One you have a surface or mesh it’s relatively easy to project/move the building outlines up to sit on the surface (as you might know).

But, when sourcing the actual topographic data, there are so many options with wildly varying levels of detail on a per-region basis. If there was a single source of good data that was free, I’d have built it into Caribou. As it stands, I don’t want to add and support an option unless I’m confident would be good-enough for most users. I think that whole workflow should probably sit outside plugins or be wrapped up into a specific plugin that just focuses on topo imports.

oh alright… :smile: it sounded aussie to me… but you can also not deny the similarity to the accent. it is far more aussie sounding, than english, scottish, irish, southafrican or us english.

not that well, but the issue currently is rather getting proper data to work with at all. i have found opentopography to be free and accessible, but i am currently not having any luck with the ascii data provided. though there is data inside, rhino does not want to handle it accordingly.

here an instance, i simply changed the suffix to txt to be able to post it here, the suffix is ofcourse asc.

output_AW3D30E.txt (1.0 MB)

oh and the resolutions is 30m thats the best i could find, in austria for vienna for instance the publicly available resolution is by 5m if i remember well, what would you be looking for or lets ask how would you determine data to be sufficient?

Open topography does look like a great resource, and seems to fit the criteria I mentioned above. I’ll look into it if/when I do another major version release for caribou.

As for the asc file, I’m not sure about that format. Looking at the data it seems like it would be pretty easy to convert, hopefully you can find one online or in another plugin? Passing it through QGIS, or similar, is probably worth looking into as well.

As you’ve highlighted, a 30m resolution is not great, and a lot of the free+accessible sources of topo data tend to be very coarse. How suitable that is for your project is not something I can determine, but it seems lacking unless you’re working at a city scale.