How We Know the Map is Ready

Byron North
Saturday, 11:30am – 20 min
Jennings Anderson, Ramya Ragupathy
University of Colorado Boulder and Mapbox

Where is the map complete and where is there more to be done? While the mapper in us all knows there is no such thing as a complete map, OpenStreetMap completeness varies drastically around the world. In the most literal sense, we are assessing the state of the map. Where is the map complete enough to be used for navigation, 3d visualization, or civic analysis? In other words, where is the map ready?

We combine qualitative analysis of the map with contribution histories for various cities around the globe to learn what contribution patterns and object attributes yield a high quality map. Learning from these areas, we look for similar levels of completeness around the globe by comparing roads, buildings, and contributor histories.

We use the latest tools for processing the vast OpenStreetMap database for nearly 1 square-kilometer resolution. In addition to assessing individual features, we want to understand how the map came to be. Was this the work of an active local community or a group mapping remotely? While we share results for a handful of major cities, this approach is scalable for any region of the map.