OpenStreetMap

Last updated

OpenStreetMap
Openstreetmap logo.svg
OpenStreetMap homepage 2020 en.png
OpenStreetMap homepage, showing the world map
Available in96 languages and variants, [1] local languages for map data
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Owner OpenStreetMap Foundation
Created by Steve Coast
Products Editable geographic data, tiled web map layer
URL www.openstreetmap.org
CommercialNo
RegistrationRequired for contributors, not required for viewing
Users 9.9 million [2]
Launched9 August 2004;18 years ago (2004-08-09) [3]
Current statusActive
Content license
Open Database License

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a free, open geographic database updated and maintained by a community of volunteers via open collaboration. Contributors collect data from surveys, trace from aerial imagery and also import from other freely licensed geodata sources. OpenStreetMap is freely licensed under the Open Database License and as a result commonly used to make electronic maps, inform turn-by-turn navigation, assist in humanitarian aid and data visualisation. OpenStreetMap uses its own topology to store geographical features which can then be exported into other GIS file formats. The OpenStreetMap website itself is an online map, geodata search engine and editor.

Contents

In 2004, OpenStreetMap was created by Steve Coast in response to the Ordnance Survey, the United Kingdom's national mapping agency, failing to release its data to the public and under free licences. Initially, maps were created only via GPS traces, but it was quickly populated by importing public domain geographical data such as the U.S. TIGER and tracing permitted aerial photography. OpenStreetMap's adoption was accelerated by Google Maps's introduction of pricing in 2012 and the development of supporting software and applications. The database is hosted by the OpenStreetMap Foundation, a non-profit organisation registered in England and Wales and is funded mostly via donations.

History

The founder of OpenStreetMap, Steve Coast, in 2009 Steve Coast - OSM im Rheinland (0604).jpg
The founder of OpenStreetMap, Steve Coast, in 2009

Steve Coast founded the project in 2004 while at university in Britain, [4] initially focusing on mapping the United Kingdom. In the UK and elsewhere, government-run and tax-funded projects like the Ordnance Survey created massive datasets but declined to freely and widely distribute them. The first contribution was made in the city of London in 2005. [5]

In April 2006, the OpenStreetMap Foundation was established to encourage the growth, development and distribution of free geospatial data and provide geospatial data for anybody to use and share. In December 2006, Yahoo! confirmed that OpenStreetMap could use its aerial photography as a backdrop for map production. [6]

In April 2007, Automotive Navigation Data (AND) donated a complete road data set for the Netherlands and trunk road data for India and China to the project [7] and by July 2007, when the first OpenStreetMap international The State of the Map conference [8] was held, there were 9,000 registered users. Sponsors of the event included Google, Yahoo! and Multimap. In October 2007, OpenStreetMap completed the import of a US Census TIGER road dataset. [9] In December 2007, Oxford University became the first major organisation to use OpenStreetMap data on their main website. [10]

Ways to import and export data have continued to grow – by 2008, the project developed tools to export OpenStreetMap data to power portable GPS units, replacing their existing proprietary and out-of-date maps. [11] In March, two founders of CloudMade, a commercial company that uses OpenStreetMap data, announced that they had received venture capital funding of €2.4 million. [12] In November 2010, Bing changed their licence to allow use of their satellite imagery for making maps. [13]

In 2012, the launch of pricing for Google Maps led several prominent websites to switch from their service to OpenStreetMap and other competitors. [14] Chief among these were Foursquare and Craigslist, which adopted OpenStreetMap, and Apple, which ended a contract with Google and launched a self-built mapping platform using TomTom and OpenStreetMap data. [15]

In 2017, DigitalGlobe started providing satellite imagery to aid OpenStreetMap contributions. [16]

In June 2021, OpenStreetMap Foundation announced plans to move from the United Kingdom to a country in the European Union, citing Brexit as the inciting factor. According to the organisation, there are several reasons for the move, including "the failure of the UK and EU to agree on mutual recognition of database rights", the rising difficulties in "banking, finance and using PayPal in the UK" and the loss of .eu domains. [17]

In mid-December 2022, the Linux Foundation announced the launch of a new mapping collaboration, the Overture Maps Foundation. [18] Its stated mission is "powering current and next-generation map products by creating reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data." Overture founding members were Amazon Web Services (AWS), Meta, Microsoft and TomTom. [19] [20] [21] Overture is to be complementary to OpenStreetMap and Overture encourages members to contribute data directly to OpenStreetMap. [22]

Data structure

Illustration of OpenStreetMap data primitives (nodes, ways and relations) OpenStreetMap data primitives in iD.png
Illustration of OpenStreetMap data primitives (nodes, ways and relations)

OpenStreetMap uses a topological data structure, with four core elements (also known as data primitives):

The OpenStreetMap data primitives are stored and processed in different formats.

The main copy of the OpenStreetMap data is stored in OpenStreetMap's main database. The main database is a PostgreSQL database, which has one table for each data primitive, with individual objects stored as rows. [25] [26] All edits happen in this database, and all other formats are created from it.[ citation needed ]

For data transfer, several database dumps are created, which are available for download. The complete dump is called planet.osm. These dumps exist in two formats, one using XML and one using the Protocol Buffer Binary Format (PBF).[ citation needed ]

Data collection

Editing with JOSM after a ground survey Adding data to OSM after mapping Brighton Pier.jpg
Editing with JOSM after a ground survey

Map data is collected from scratch by volunteers performing systematic ground surveys using tools such as a handheld GPS unit, a notebook, digital camera, or a voice recorder. The data is then entered into the OpenStreetMap database using a number of software tools including JOSM and Merkaator. Mapathon competition events are also held by OpenStreetMap team and by non-profit organisations and local governments to map a particular area.

The availability of aerial photography and other data from commercial and government sources has added important sources of data for manual editing and automated imports. Special processes are in place to handle automated imports and avoid legal and technical problems. [27] OpenStreetMap data has been favourably compared with proprietary datasources, [28] although as of 2009 data quality varied across the world. [29] [30] [ needs update ]

Software

StreetComplete asking user a question. User filled in the answer. After tapping "OK" this answer will be added to an OpenStreetMap database. StreetComplete - House number quest.png
StreetComplete asking user a question. User filled in the answer. After tapping "OK" this answer will be added to an OpenStreetMap database.

Editing of maps can be done using the default web browser editor called iD, an HTML5 application using D3.js and written by Mapbox, [31] which was originally financed by the Knight Foundation. [32] JOSM, Potlatch, [33] and Merkaartor [34] are more powerful desktop editing applications that are better suited for advanced users.

Vespucci [35] is the primary full-featured editor for Android; it has been regularly released since 2009. [36] StreetComplete [37] is an Android app launched in 2016, [38] which allows users without any OpenStreetMap knowledge to answer simple questions for existing data in OpenStreetMap, and thus contribute data. [39] Maps.me and OsmAnd, two offline mobile map applications available for Android and iOS, both include limited OpenStreetMap data editors. [40] [41] Go Map!! is an iOS app that lets users create and edit information in OpenStreetMap. [42] Pushpin is another iOS app that lets users add POI on the go. [43]

Surveys and personal knowledge

Surveying routes with a Satellite navigation device Motion X GPS and OSM.jpg
Surveying routes with a Satellite navigation device

Ground surveys are performed by a mapper, on foot, bicycle, or in a car, motorcycle, or boat. Map data was typically recorded on a GPS unit. In late 2006 Yahoo! made their aerial imagery available for tracing to OpenStreetMap contributors, which simplified mapping of readily visible and identifiable features. [44] The project still makes use of GPS traces from volunteers which are used to delineate the more difficult to identify and classify features such as footpath, as well as providing ground-truth for aerial imagery alignment.[ citation needed ]

Once the data has been collected, it is entered into the database by uploading it onto the project's website together with appropriate attribute data. As collecting and uploading data may be separated from editing objects, contribution to the project is possible without using a GPS unit.[ citation needed ]

Some committed contributors adopt the task of mapping whole towns and cities, or organising mapping parties to gather the support of others to complete a map area. A large number of less active users contribute corrections and small additions to the map.[ citation needed ]

Street-level image data

In addition to several different sets of satellite image backgrounds available to OpenStreetMap editors, data from several street-level image platforms are available as map data photo overlays: Bing Streetside 360° image tracks, and the open and crowdsourced Mapillary and KartaView platforms, generally smartphone and other windshield-mounted camera images. Additionally, a Mapillary traffic sign data layer can be enabled; it is the product of user-submitted images. [45]

Government data

Some government agencies have released official data on appropriate licences. This includes the United States, where works of the federal government are placed under public domain. [46]

Globally, OpenStreetMap initially used the Prototype Global Shoreline from NOAA. Due to it being oversimplified and crude, it has been mainly replaced by other government sources or manual tracing.[ citation needed ]

In the United States, most roads originate from TIGER from the Census Bureau. [47] Geographic names were initially sourced from Geographic Names Information System, and some areas contain water features from the National Hydrography Dataset. In the UK, some Ordnance Survey OpenData is imported. In Canada Natural Resources Canada's CanVec vector data and GeoBase provide landcover and streets.[ citation needed ]

Out-of-copyright maps can be good sources of information about features that do not change frequently. Copyright periods vary, but in the UK Crown copyright expires after 50 years and hence Ordnance Survey maps until the 1960s can legally be used. A complete set of UK 1 inch/mile maps from the late 1940s and early 1950s has been collected, scanned, and is available online as a resource for contributors. [48]

Contributors

Field survey in various parts of the Guagua by a group of mappers. They took notes and photos, and recorded GPS tracks. Shown in the photo is the Betis group standing beside one of the Death March trail monuments. Guagua ESSC-OSMPH Training field survey.jpg
Field survey in various parts of the Guagua by a group of mappers. They took notes and photos, and recorded GPS tracks. Shown in the photo is the Betis group standing beside one of the Death March trail monuments.

The project has a geographically diverse user-base, due to emphasis of local knowledge and "on-the-ground" situation in the process of data collection. [49] Many early contributors were cyclists who survey with and for bicyclists, charting cycleroutes and navigable trails. [50] Others are GIS professionals who contribute data with an extension for ArcGIS. [51] Contributors are predominately men, with only 3–5% being women. [52]

By August 2008, shortly after the second The State of the Map conference was held, there were over 50,000 registered contributors; by March 2009, there were 100,000 and by the end of 2009 the figure was nearly 200,000. In April 2012, OpenStreetMap cleared 600,000 registered contributors. [53] On 6 January 2013, OpenStreetMap reached one million registered users. [54] Around 30% of users have contributed at least one point to the OpenStreetMap database. [55] [56]

Since 2007, the OpenStreetMap community has held an annual, international conference called State of the Map. There are also various national, regional and continental SotM conferences, such as SotM U.S., SotM Baltics, SotM Asia & SotM Africa. [57]

Commercial contributors

Some OpenStreetMap data is supplied by companies that choose to freely license either actual street data or satellite imagery sources from which OpenStreetMap contributors can trace roads and features.

Notably, Automotive Navigation Data provided a complete road data set for Netherlands and details of trunk roads in China and India. In December 2006, Yahoo! confirmed that OpenStreetMap was able to make use of their vertical aerial imagery and this photography was available within the editing software as an overlay. Contributors could create their vector based maps as a derived work, released with a free and open licence, [6] until the shutdown of the Yahoo! Maps API on 13 September 2011. [58] In November 2010, Microsoft announced that the OpenStreetMap community could use Bing vertical aerial imagery as a backdrop in its editors. [59] For a period from 2009 to 2011, NearMap Pty Ltd made their high-resolution PhotoMaps (of major Australian cities, plus some rural Australian areas) available for deriving OpenStreetMap data under a CC BY-SA licence. [60]

In June 2018, the Microsoft Bing team announced a major contribution of 125 million U.S. building footprints to the project – four times the number contributed by users and government data imports. [61] [62]

Sister projects

Several open collaborative mapping projects integrate with the OpenStreetMap database or are otherwise affiliated with the OpenStreetMap project:

Usage

World map

OpenStreetMap of Soho, central London, shown in "standard" OpenStreetMap layer Soho - map 1.png
OpenStreetMap of Soho, central London, shown in "standard" OpenStreetMap layer
Raw OpenStreetMap data of India loading in QGIS for analysis and mapmaking India OpenStreetMap data loading in QGIS.gif
Raw OpenStreetMap data of India loading in QGIS for analysis and mapmaking
Web browser
Data provided by the OpenStreetMap project can be viewed in a web browser with JavaScript support on its official website. The basic map views offered are: Standard, Cycle map, Transport map and Humanitarian. Map display and category options are available using OpenStreetBrowser.
OsmAnd
OsmAnd is free software for Android and iOS mobile devices that can use offline vector data from OpenStreetMap. It also supports layering OpenStreetMap vector data with prerendered raster map tiles from OpenStreetMap and other sources.
Locus Map
Locus Map is both free software and premium for Android mobile devices that can use offline vector data from OpenStreetMap. It also supports layering OpenStreetMap vector data with prerendered raster map tiles from OpenStreetMap and other sources.
Maps.me
Maps.me is free software for Android and iOS mobile devices that provides offline maps based on OpenStreetMap data.
Organic Maps
Organic Maps is a mobile map and navigation app with a focus on privacy. It is free software for Android and iOS mobile devices, and provides offline maps based on OpenStreetMap data.
GNOME Maps
GNOME Maps is a graphical front-end written in JavaScript and introduced in GNOME 3.10. It provides a mechanism to find the user's location with the help of GeoClue, finds directions via GraphHopper and it can deliver a list as answer to queries.
Marble
Marble is a KDE virtual globe application which received support for OpenStreetMap.
Virtlo
Virtlo [65] is a AR based free mobile application for iOS and Android which show's OpenStreetMap data through Augmented Reality.
FoxtrotGPS
FoxtrotGPS is a GTK+-based map viewer, that is especially suited to touch input. [66] It is available in the SHR or Debian repositories. [67]

The web site OpenStreetMap.org provides a slippy map interface based on the Leaflet JavaScript library (and formerly built on OpenLayers), displaying map tiles rendered by the Mapnik rendering engine, and tiles from other sources including OpenCycleMap.org. [68]

Custom maps can also be generated from OpenStreetMap data through various software including Jawg Maps, Mapnik, Mapbox Studio, Mapzen's Tangrams.[ citation needed ]

OpenStreetMap maintains lists of online and offline routing engines available, such as the Open Source Routing Machine. [69] OpenStreetMap data is popular with routing researchers, and is also available to open-source projects and companies to build routing applications (or for any other purpose).[ citation needed ]

Humanitarian aid

OpenStreetMap Philippines GPS map, an end-product of over a thousand crisis mappers that contributed almost 5 million map updates during the 2013 Haiyan humanitarian activation. Openstreetmap Philippines GPS Map by Schadow1 Expeditions.jpg
OpenStreetMap Philippines GPS map, an end-product of over a thousand crisis mappers that contributed almost 5 million map updates during the 2013 Haiyan humanitarian activation.

The 2010 Haiti earthquake has established a model for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to collaborate with international organisations. OpenStreetMap and Crisis Commons volunteers using available satellite imagery to map the roads, buildings and refugee camps of Port-au-Prince in just two days, building "the most complete digital map of Haiti's roads". [71] [72] [73]

The resulting data and maps have been used by several organisations providing relief aid, such as the World Bank, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNOSAT and others. [74] [75] [76] [77]

NGOs, like the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and others, have worked with donors like United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to map other parts of Haiti and parts of many other countries, both to create map data for places that were blank, and to engage and build capacity of local people. [78]

After Haiti, the OpenStreetMap community continued mapping to support humanitarian organisations for various crises and disasters. After the Northern Mali conflict (January 2013), Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (November 2013), and the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa (March 2014), the OpenStreetMap community has shown it can play a significant role in supporting humanitarian organisations. [79] [80] [81] [82]

The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team acts as an interface between the OpenStreetMap community and the humanitarian organisations.

Along with post-disaster work, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team has worked to build better risk models and grow the local OpenStreetMap communities in multiple countries including Uganda, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in partnership with the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, World Bank, and other humanitarian groups. [83] [84] [85]

Scientific research

The Forest Landscape Integrity Index, which incorporates a global planet dump of OpenStreetMap. Flii globe.png
The Forest Landscape Integrity Index, which incorporates a global planet dump of OpenStreetMap.

OpenStreetMap data was used in scientific studies. For example, road data was used for research of remaining roadless areas [86] and in the creation of the annual Forest Landscape Integrity Index. [87]

Route planning

In February 2015, OpenStreetMap added route planning functionality to the map on its official website. The routing uses external services, namely OSRM, GraphHopper and MapQuest. [88]

Downstream users

Moovit Navigate Moovit Navigate 3.0.png
Moovit Navigate

A variety of popular services incorporate some sort of geolocation or map-based component. Notable services using OpenStreetMap for this include:

Licensing terms

OpenStreetMap data was originally published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence (CC BY-SA) with the intention of promoting free use and redistribution of the data. In September 2012, the licence was changed to the Open Database Licence (ODbL) published by Open Data Commons (ODC) in order to more specifically define its bearing on data rather than representation. [122] [123]

As part of this relicensing process, some of the map data was removed from the public distribution. This included all data contributed by members that did not agree to the new licensing terms, as well as all subsequent edits to those affected objects. It also included any data contributed based on input data that was not compatible with the new terms. Estimates suggested that over 97% of data would be retained globally, but certain regions would be affected more than others, such as in Australia where 24 to 84% of objects would be retained, depending on the type of object. [124] Ultimately, more than 99% of the data was retained, with Australia and Poland being the countries most severely affected by the change. [125]

All data added to the project needs to have a licence compatible with the Open Database Licence. This can include out-of-copyright information, public domain or other licences. Contributors agree to a set of terms which require compatibility with the current licence. This may involve examining licences for government data to establish whether it is compatible.[ citation needed ]

Software used in the production and presentation of OpenStreetMap data is available from many different projects and each may have its own licensing. The application  what users access to edit maps and view changelogs, is powered by Ruby on Rails. The application also uses PostgreSQL for storage of user data and edit metadata. The default map is rendered by Mapnik, stored in PostGIS, and powered by an Apache module called mod_tile. Certain parts of the software, such as the map editor Potlatch2, have been made available as public domain. [126]

See also

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Google Maps</span> Googles web mapping service (launched 2005)

Google Maps is a web mapping platform and consumer application offered by Google. It offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bike, air and public transportation. As of 2020, Google Maps was being used by over 1 billion people every month around the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Google Earth</span> 3D globe-based map program owned by Google

Google Earth is a computer program that renders a 3D representation of Earth based primarily on satellite imagery. The program maps the Earth by superimposing satellite images, aerial photography, and GIS data onto a 3D globe, allowing users to see cities and landscapes from various angles. Users can explore the globe by entering addresses and coordinates, or by using a keyboard or mouse. The program can also be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, using a touch screen or stylus to navigate. Users may use the program to add their own data using Keyhole Markup Language and upload them through various sources, such as forums or blogs. Google Earth is able to show various kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is also a Web Map Service client. In 2019, Google has revealed that Google Earth now covers more than 97 percent of the world, and has captured 10 million miles of Street View imagery.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bing Maps</span> Web mapping service from Microsoft

Bing Maps is a web mapping service provided as a part of Microsoft's Bing suite of search engines and powered by the Bing Maps Platform framework. Since 2020, the map data is provided by TomTom.

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Collaborative mapping, also known as citizen mapping, is the aggregation of Web mapping and user-generated content, from a group of individuals or entities, and can take several distinct forms. With the growth of technology for storing and sharing maps, collaborative maps have become competitors to commercial services, in the case of OpenStreetMap, or components of them, as in Google Map Maker and Yandex.Map editor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Google Map Maker</span> Collaborative mapping tool

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isochrone map</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">OsmAnd</span> Offline maps & navigation Android and iOS app

OsmAnd is a map and navigation app for Android and iOS. It uses the OpenStreetMap (OSM) map database for its primary displays, but is an independent app not endorsed by the OpenStreetMap Foundation. It is available in both free and paid versions; the latter unlocks the download limit for offline maps and provides access to Wikipedia points of interest (POIs) and their descriptions from within the app. Map data can be stored on the device for offline use. Using the device's GPS capabilities, OsmAnd offers routing, with visual and voice guidance, for car, bike, and pedestrian. All of the main functionalities work both online and offline.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crisis mapping</span>

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This article contains a list with gratis satellite navigation software for a range of devices. Some of the free software mentioned here does not have detailed maps or the ability to follow streets or type in street names. However, in many cases, it is also that which makes the program free, avoid the need of an Internet connection, and make it very lightweight. Very basic programs like this may not be suitable for road navigation in cars, but serve their purpose for navigation while walking or trekking, and for use at sea. To determine the GPS coordinates of a destination, one can use sites such as GPScoordinates.eu and GPS visualizer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tiled web map</span>

A tiled web map,slippy map or tile map is a map displayed in a web browser by seamlessly joining dozens of individually requested image or vector data files. It is the most popular way to display and navigate maps, replacing other methods such as Web Map Service (WMS) which typically display a single large image, with arrow buttons to navigate to nearby areas. Google Maps was one of the first major mapping sites to use this technique. The first tiled web maps used raster tiles, before the emergence of vector tiles.

Vector tiles, tiled vectors or vectiles are packets of geographic data, packaged into pre-defined roughly-square shaped "tiles" for transfer over the web. This is an emerging method for delivering styled web maps, combining certain benefits of pre-rendered raster map tiles with vector map data. As with the widely used raster tiled web maps, map data is requested by a client as a set of "tiles" corresponding to square areas of land of a pre-defined size and location. Unlike raster tiled web maps, however, the server returns vector map data, which has been clipped to the boundaries of each tile, instead of a pre-rendered map image.

Under Chinese law, the use of geographic information in the People's Republic of China is restricted to entities that have special authorization from the administrative department for surveying and mapping under the State Council. Consequences of the restriction include fines for unauthorized surveys, lack of geotagging information on many cameras when the GPS chip detects a location within China, incorrect alignment of street maps with satellite maps in various applications, and the criminalization of crowdsourced mapping efforts such as OpenStreetMap.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Locus Map</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">JOSM</span> Free software desktop editing tool

JOSM(Java OpenStreetMap editor) is a free software desktop editing tool for OpenStreetMap geodata created in Java, originally developed by Immanuel Scholz and currently maintained by Dirk Stöcker. The editing tool contains advanced features that are not present in OSM's default online editor, iD.

iD (software) Online editor for OpenStreetMap

iD is a free software online editor for OpenStreetMap (OSM) geodata created in JavaScript and released in 2013. It is the most popular and the default editor on the main OSM page. iD's features include choosing custom aerial imagery and native support for Mapillary photos. Specialized forks of iD include RapiD, developed by Facebook as an import tool for reviewing and adding roads detected by proprietary Facebook algorithms.

KartaView, formerly called OpenStreetView and OpenStreetCam, is a project to collect crowdsourced street-level photographs for improving OpenStreetMap operated by Grab Holdings. Collected imagery is published under a CC BY-SA license and while some of the project's code is released as open source, much of it still require proprietary software to function. This is one of the few alternative platforms that offer street view like Google.

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Further reading