Skiing Vacation, Street Names and all that

Since the beginning of November 2012 I have been running statistics on how OSM data compares to “official” sources. The results can be seen  a wiki page with some more information is available here.

The official numbers as of December 2012 contain 108’271 road names, 2’684 named nodes, 27’339 areas and a total of 52’211 of objects that were not classified by the muncipality collecting the data. Overall this amounts to 190’000 named features.

The Swiss OSM extract as of January the 10th 2013 contained 115’940 named streets, 5’053 areas and  9’674 nodes tagged with “place” and a name. The comparision just on a number base looks quite good, however actual matches are only 84’162  in total as of today, which is less than 50%. Just considering the streets we find 67’125 matches which is  61%.

The good news is that in the roughly 10 weeks the statistics have been running, we increased  the street matches by 3’556 and the total by 5’783. This indicates that we should have all roads covered in latest two years. I actually suspect that the coverage increase will be far larger in the summer months and that we will be able to acheive very good coverage far earlier.

Achieving rapid progress on non-road objects is however going to be difficult. Most of these are not sign posted and publicly available information for verification or a possible import seems to be limited to a proprietary dataset owned by the Swiss Post and the GWR address data. Both can be purchased at considerable expense, the later however has very restrictive usage terms. Essentially Swiss Topo has been granted a monopoly on all non-internal use. It is strange that in the age of the OpenData movement that this would still be possible (the legislation is quite recent), but I suspect that it will be very hard to change.

A good example of the difficulties is the small mountain village Ftan where we customarily spend our annual skiing vacation.

Essentially none of the roads have road signs, nor do they actually have names. The full addresses use a “quarter” name in place of a street name. As can be seen from the list produced by my statistics (original file: current version: switch to the Mapquest Open map on the OSM site to see what was actually added) nearly all the missing features are not roads, that dosen’t stop Google showing street names (google maps) where there aren’t any.

Surveying such data is going to take time, it implies using local knowledge and other clues available on the ground. It will be interesting to see how much can be gathered in the week I will be on site and how we progress with the multitude of similar settlements over the next months.



10’000 km of Ways added in 10 Months – New OSM Road Length Statistics for Switzerland

The last numbers on development of the OSM coverage in Switzerland were from early 2012. Since then we have had on the one hand the licence change process with a small corresponding loss of data, and on the other hand quite a lot of interest in the project as a whole. So I beleive an update is in order. While I didn’t use quite the same methodology as the previous numbers presented in the wiki here, they seem close enough to be comparable.

The statistics show an increase of a total of at least 10’000 km from 142’000 km at the beginning of the year to 152’000 km now. This without taking a further 8’000 km of “service” roads in to account that were not listed separately in previous statistics. As would be expected the length of all roads with higher classification does not show much movement, a clear indication that the major road network is very complete.

The low number for the length of combined footway/cycleway would seem to indicate that we are mistagging the most frequent occurring type of Switzerland. What is further slightly surprising is that we have mapped a combined length of 1500 km of driveways and parking aisles, this would seem to be an awful lot compared to roughly 1300 km of cycleways.

Detailed Numbers

OSM classification length (km) length (km)
motorway 1’505 50% of the length of one-way segments 3’003 one-way segments counted fully
motorway_link 333 665  “
trunk 361 511  “
trunk_link 50 95  “
motorway + trunk 2’249 4’274
primary 4’798 includes _link
secondary 5’450
tertiary 10’919
unclassified 16’539
residential 23’576
service 6’590 service=alley and unspecified
driveway 720 service=driveway
parking aisle 782 service=parking_aisle
track 12’254 tracktype unspecified, neither foot or bicycle = designated
track grade 1 9’461 neither foot or bicycle = designated
track grade 2 17’220
track grade 3 9’588
track grade 4 2’627
track grade 5 1’733
track total 52’883
path 19’183 neither foot or bicycle = designated
pedstrian 327
footway 6’506 plus path and track with foot=designated
cycleway 1’078 plus path and track with bicyle=designated
combined cycleway / footway 250 track, path, cycleway and footway either with explicit or implicit designated values for foot and bicycle
Total 152’373


City of Uster makes Aerial Imagery and Street Data available for OSM

The City of Uster GIS centre has made aerial imagery and street data available for use in OpenStreetMap. The imagery was captured in 2008 and has 10cm nominal resolution. Access to the data is provided via the cities WMS server.

We thank Mr Neumann from the GIS centre for the cooperation and Michael Spreng for establishing contact..

The imagery can be accessed either via the City of Uster WMS or via the experimental SOSM mapproxy server. More information can be found in the Wiki.