It’s about time – OpenStreetMap Contributor Activity Report 2013

One and a half years ago (end of 2011), one of my open access publications (“Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project — The Case of OpenStreetMap“) was published. It contained several interesting findings about the contributions made by the community of the OSM project. The results showed that the community follows a particular pattern that many other online community based projects tend to struggle with too. Only a small number of the members really contribute in a meaningful way to the project. Additionally, the publication illustrated how many contributors are located in Europe and other areas of the world and how and where mappers contribute data over a certain period time.

The State of the Map. United States. Street Network. 2013

Last year we wrote a journal paper in which we analyzed the OpenStreetMap (OSM) dataset of the United States which was published on May 28th, 2013 in the Transactions in GIS Journal. You can download a free pre-print version here. This paper has been published just on time to add to the discussion at the upcoming State of the Map United States conference which will take place in San Francisco and includes some presentations about data imports to OSM. Unfortunately, Dennis and I cannot attend the conference this year, so we decided to write a blog post with some additional and up-to-date numbers.

Add a Note in OSM … Stats & Personal Profiles

Since April 23th, 2013 each visitor, user or contributor of the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project can “add a note” to the map in order to easily mark an error or missing object in the map data. You can find more information about this new feature in the OSM wiki. It is a great new way for people to contribute to the project by improving the data in a simple way. To provide a better overview I created a new webpage which shows some statistics about the new feature. You can find it here: resultmaps.neis-one.org/osm-notes

Besides some general information the webpage also shows the overall, opened and closed number of notes per country. The second table illustrates the OSM contributors who already opened, commented or closed a note. All tables on the page are sortable by clicking on the column headers.

Introducing OpenStreetMap Contributor Activity Areas

One month ago I wrote a blog post about a new website which allows you to see other OpenStreetMap contributors in your area. Overall the feedback was very positive, thank you very much for that! However, now it is time for a new extension to the “How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap?” (HDYC) webpage. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I used an algorithm (which is described in a paper that I wrote here) to compute and determine the activity area of a contributor based on her/his changeset centers. The following figure shows the new function that was added to the HDYC website visualizing the activity area of a contributor! Sorry Harry, as always you have to be our guinea pig, but you have a really awesome activity area 🙂

The OpenStreetMap Contributors Map aka Who’s around me?

The wait is over! As I mentioned in December, I have been working on an interactive online map, which shows you all volunteers of the OpenStreetMap world on a map. The first three layers contain the activity center of a contributor, her or his first created and latest modified node. The algorithm to determine the activity area of an OSM volunteer has been described in my publication here. I should mention that I used all changeset centers instead of all created nodes of a contributor. This way the computations don’t take as long and the process can be repeated every week based on the weekly OSM changeset dump.

OSM-Gravatar, Changeset changes & Way-Tags @ HDYC

After my latest updates to the “How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap?” website, some users asked me if I could add the new OSM gravatar to it. Starting today, you can find your OSM-gravatar from your OSM user website on HDYC too. If your HDYC-profile doesn’t show a gravatar yet, please be patient. It will be automatically updated as soon as you make any type of OSM edit to the OSM database. The following figure contains all updates that were made to the website marked with a circle. As always, Harry is our example 😉

As a second update, I added the number of changes that were made in a user’s changeset and grouped them into three classes. This way the website shows if a user only makes a lot of changesets with 15 or less edits, more than 150 edits or something in between. Last but not least, you can find some additional information about the number of ways of which the user is the last modifier, including its way tag. This provides some information about the data collection tendency of the contributor, for instance if the user only creates a lot of buildings or large landuse areas.

Distribution of Active Users in OpenStreetMap – Oct-Nov 2012

Two years ago, we created some maps which showed you the number of users per country for a timeframe of one month. Maybe some of you remember that the highest concentration of active contributors in relation to the countries’ population could be found in Europe. We thought it was about time to make some new maps to see if things have changed. The following map shows you the number of active contributors per day per country.

Similar to our results two years ago, the above map only gives some general information about the total number of users per country and does not consider the population for each country. Therefore we created a second map which shows you the relation between active users and the population in each country per day.

Overhauling “How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap?”

My last update about the HDYC website is a few months old now. For those readers who do not know what HDYC is: “How did you contribute to OpenStreetMap?” is a webpage which shows you in detail how long, when, where a member of the OSM project contributed to the project and which tools she/he used.

This time I added some new stats and graphs to the site. One of my favorite new features is the location information which shows the countries in which a contributor created at least one OSM Node:

A second new feature shows how long the mapper is already registered with the project and how many *active* mapping days she/he had:

You can also find some more information about the changesets of the user e.g. the number of changesets with a comment, the number of unique changeset comments and the median character length of the comments. Additionally, you will also see some information about deleted nodes, ways or relations:

I Like OpenStreetMap (OpenLayers Plugin)

A few months ago, Frederik Ramm posted an idea on the German OpenStreetMap mailing list about a new (stochastic) approach to OSM data quality assurance. You can find his original German post here. His idea was to create a way to allow users to “like” or “dislike” a specific region on the OSM map, a function that other popular websites such as YouTube or Facebook implemented to allow users to provide feedback to videos or status updates. For OSM this particular function could give some indicators or trends about the OSM map data.

I really liked his idea and in collaboration with Frederik I created an Open Source OpenLayers plugin. For all new readers: OpenLayers is an Open Source library which can implement a dynamic (OSM) map into more or less any webpage. One of our goals was to make the integration of the ILikeOSM plugin as easy as adding a tile server to your OpenLayers map.

New OSM Contributor Feed

The OpenStreetMap project keeps attracting more and more new members that register and start contributing their data to the project. In one of my last blog posts I presented a website which shows the location of each new and active member based on one of their first edits. Since the launch of this website, some of you asked me about a potential opportunity to feed this information for a particular area. Well, there you go!

You can create your own bbox of interest to determine the area in which you would like to be informed about new members. All you need is the center coordinates (lon & lat) of your area. The following URL is an example for Berlin (Germany):
http:// resultmaps.neis-one.org/newestosmfeed.php?lon=13.3&lat=52.5&deg=1