Rural Accessibility and OSM

Byron South
Friday, 11:30am – 20 min
Olaf Veerman
Development Seed

Accessibility and connectivity are key drivers of economic development and poverty alleviation. With the progress being made in routing technologies and the availability of accurate road network data, it’s becoming easier for policy makers to analyze accessibility and measure the impact of their policies.

The Rural Accessibility Map (RAM) is an open source tool that aims to lower the barrier for accessibility analysis by allowing the calculation of accurate travel times at scale. An initiative by the transportation team of the World Bank, the tool was developed to make better informed decisions about road upgrade investments. Building on this success, the team is exploring wider applications, including areas like Disaster Risk and Resilience (what is the impact of a collapsed bridge on the accessibility of a region?), Service Planning (what is the best location for a new school?), or Social Justice (are there gender based differences in accessibility?).

In this talk, we’ll introduce RAM and give an overview of why it matters and how it differs from more conventional accessibility analysis. We’ll also go over the technical architecture of the system, explaining how the tool leverages OpenStreetMap data and the Open Source Routing Machine for its analysis.