Conceptual compliance analysis with the OpenStreetMap History Database (OSHDB)

Conceptual compliance measures to what degree contributors of volunteered geographic information (VGI) are using proposed tagging-standards. Here, we look into OpenStreetMap (OSM) as the most well-known example for VGI. In OSM the most important tagging guideline is defined by its wiki. In addtion, OSM editors like iD or JOSM provide presets (default options to adhere to tagging standards).

This analysis is based on the paper “A Conceptual Quality Framework for Volunteered Geographic Information” by Andrea Ballatore and Alexander Zipf. By using the OpenStreetMap History Database (OSHDB), developed at the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology, we can analyze how compliant the tagging of highway objects of the OSM data is with these tagging-standards. The OSHDB allows us to further analyze the temporal evolution of these compliance values:

Figure 1: Conceptual Compliance of OSM history data of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania with the tagging-guidelines for highway-objects of the editors iD, JOSM and the OSM Wiki.

An example of such a data compliance evolution is shown in Figure 1, where in the time between mid of 2015 and 2016 we see a reduction of the compliance rate for the iD and the JOSM editor. A further investigation reveals that the decrease is mainly caused by one special OSM tag (de:strassenschluessel), which was then used in Mecklenburg Western Pomerania. That tag is not part of the iD and JOSM tagging-guidelines, leading to a decrease in the corresponding compliance values.

A recent article on explains the analysis in more details and showcases how the OSHDB API can be used to for doing (conceptual) quality analysis of OSM data:

Related work: Ballatore, A. ; Zipf, A. (2015): A Conceptual Quality Framework for Volunteered Geographic Information. In COSIT 2015 Conference on Spatial Information Theory XII October 12-16, 2015, Lecture Notes in Computer Science. UC Santa Barbara.