Towards a Comprehensive Framework for Intrinsic Quality Analysis in OpenStreetMap

As one of the most popular examples of a Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) project OpenStreetMap (OSM) has more and more become a serious alternative for geodata. Since the quality of OSM data can vary strongly, different aspects have been investigated in several scientific studies. In most cases the data is compared with commercial or administrative data sets which, however, are not always accessible due to the lack of availability, contradictory licensing restrictions or high procurement costs. In this investigation a framework containing more than 25 methods and indicators is presented allowing OSM quality assessments, which are solely based on the data’s history. This enables relative OSM quality analyses independently of ground truth reference data sets for any part of the world. For that purpose, a framework for intrinsic OSM data quality analysis, named iOSMAnalyzer, was developed. For evaluation and practical purposes the framework was implemented as a tool using free and open source components. This allows anyone to generate information about OSM data quality for a freely selectable area solely using an OSM-Full-History-Dump. As OSM data is used in a wide range of applications the analyses have to be adjusted to different use cases and specific needs. Hence, in order to evaluate the OSM data, the finally calculated results of the iOSMAnalyzer are divided into the following categories which were selected according to the “Fitness for Purpose” approach: “General Area Information”, “Routing & Navigation”, “Geocoding”, “Points of Interest-Search”, “Map-Applications” and “User Information & Behaviour”. Overall, a set of more than 25 different intrinsic quality indicators is considered in the framework, which is explained in more detail in the following paper:

Barron, C., Neis, P., Zipf, A.: A Comprehensive Framework for Intrinsic OpenStreetMap Quality Analysis. Transactions in GIS. (accepted 2013).