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  • A Review of OpenStreetMap Data

    Peter Mooney, Marco Minghini

    Chapter from the book: Foody, G et al. 2017. Mapping and the Citizen Sensor.


    While there is now a considerable variety of sources of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) available, discussion of this domain is often exemplified by and focused around OpenStreetMap (OSM). In a little over a decade OSM has become the leading example of VGI on the Internet. OSM is not just a crowdsourced spatial database of VGI; rather, it has grown to become a vast ecosystem of data, software systems and applications, tools, and Web-based information stores such as wikis. An increasing number of developers, industry actors, researchers and other end users are making use of OSM in their applications. OSM has been shown to compare favourably with other sources of spatial data in terms of data quality. In addition to this, a very large OSM community updates data within OSM on a regular basis. This chapter provides an introduction to and review of OSM and the ecosystem which has grown to support the mission of creating a free, editable map of the whole world. The chapter is especially meant for readers who have no or little knowledge about the range, maturity and complexity of the tools, services, applications and organisations working with OSM data. We provide examples of tools and services to access, edit, visualise and make quality assessments of OSM data. We also provide a number of examples of applications, such as some of those used in navigation and routing, that use OSM data directly. The chapter finishes with an indication of where OSM will be discussed in the other chapters in this book, and we provide a brief speculative outlook on what the future holds for the OSM project.

    How to cite this chapter
    Mooney P. & Minghini M. 2017. A Review of OpenStreetMap Data. In: Foody, G et al, Mapping and the Citizen Sensor. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/bbf.c

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    This book has been peer reviewed. See our Peer Review Policies for more information.

    Additional Information

    Published on Sept. 11, 2017


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