[OSM-talk] Mind the Gap - how to see where OSM is lacking

malenki osm_ at malenki.ch
Mon Oct 28 21:04:46 UTC 2013

Jóhannes Birgir Jensson wrote:

>In the Wikipedia topic Christoph Hormann said
> >Although this is difficult to back up with numbers i have the
> >impression the gap between well mapped and badly mapped areas in
> >Openstreetmap is widening even though you would think it is much
> >easier to improve a badly mapped area than a well mapped one.

Sure as long this only takes mapping aerial imagery. But shops and
street names you get only as local knowledge.

>This is something that has been on my mind as I compare my two main 
>areas of mapping. My home country of Iceland (mostly detailed and 
>currently looking at imports from the national land registry, via
>proper channels) and Botswana, another sparsely populated country, one
>sorely lacking in data.

Some studies showed Germany being the best mapped country of OSM - and
I was astonished to find this tool showing how much streets (or at
least streetnames) are missing in my region:

>My first task was to find the 2011 Botswana Census and make sure all
>of the towns and villages there were on the map. Most of them weren't
>so I enlisted the aid of Wikipedia (the Italian one actually has the
>most detail!) to find their GPS co-ordinates. 

There is this detail to think of:

>[long, detailed, interesting description]
>Another idea is to run differentials on it every month or so, making
>it easier to notice if a place is suddenly shooting up in services or
>buildings or whatever metric, meaning a mapper is working on it, one
>we can perhaps support, and if needed, gently and tactfully help
>him/her improve his/her work.

"amount of changesets" would be sufficient imho

>We plan to run Iceland and Botswana into it for initial testing and 
>hopefully, if it proves to work, to open it up for others to import 
>their own areas.
>As said, currently all we have on it is in Icelandic and it is still
>on the drawing board but we are working on prototyping and converting
>to English.

This sounds interesting. I also sometimes thought about how one could
set up a master plan to map an empty region most efficient.
Not at last with a travelling-salesman-solution to walk all ways of a
place to trace them and collect data like street names, shops and so on.

But I still have data I collected during my holidays which will keep me
busy for a long while. (I live and map in Germany; the distant unmapped
region of my choice is Albania)

my 2 cents

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