Create a world with OpenStreetMap

Get the map data

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Export.
  3. Click on Manually select a different area and select the area. Be careful not to choose an area too large or it will take hours to download and sphinx or your machine may not even be able to handle it.
  4. Click on Export and save the file onto your disk.

Generate the model file

  1. Download OSM2World:
git clone
  1. Install its dependencies (you may choose another jdk):
sudo apt-get install default-jdk ant
  1. Build OSM2World:
cd OSM2World && ant jar
  1. Go to the build directory:
cd build
  1. Download and extract the texture pack:
unzip OSM2World\ Texture\ Selection\
  1. Run OSM2World:
java -jar OSM2World.jar --config -i /path/to/map.osm -o path/to/map.obj

Convert the OBJ (Wavefront) model into a DAE (Collada) model

  1. Install Blender with collada support:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:thomas-schiex/blender
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install blender
  1. Launch Blender:
  1. Import the OBJ file you just generated: File > Import > Wavefront (.obj)
  2. Select every objects in the scene: Press a
  3. Join the selected objects: Press ** j**
  4. Export the model into a DAE file: File > Export > Collada (.dae)
  5. Select the following options in the lower left panel: * Apply Modifiers * Include UV Textures * Include Material Textures
  6. Click on Export COLLADA. Beware that Blender will create a new file for each texture, so it would be wise to create a new directory first.

Create a SDF model for Gazebo

  1. Create a directory where you will put all your models:
mkdir my_models && cd my_models
  1. Create a directory for your new model:
mkdir my_model && cd my_model

3. Copy the DAE file and all its textures in a new directory named “meshes”:

cp -r /path/to/dae/ meshes
  1. Create a “model.config” file with this content:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
  <name>My Model</name>
  <sdf version="1.5">model.sdf</sdf>
    My model.
  1. Create a “model.sdf” file with this content:
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
<sdf version="1.5">
  <model name="My Model">
    <link name="link">
      <collision name="collision">
      <visual name="visual">

Your “my_models” directory should now look like this:

 |__ my_model
        |__ meshes
            |__ my_model.dae
            |__ arbaro_tree_broad_leaved.png
            |__ arbaro_tree_broad_leaved.png.001.png
            |__ ...
        |__ model.config
        |__ model.sdf

6. To include the model in a world, simply add the following lines inside the <world> section:


7. Then you are ready to fly! But don’t forget to add the path to your models in GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH:

GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH=$GAZEBO_MODEL_PATH:/path/to/my_models sphinx