Open Data: Gain or Loss?

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) database has now, as of early April 2012, converted to the Open Database Licence. Last year I undertook a quality survey based upon ITO! World data statistics for the UK. As a result of the licence change where are the areas that have won and lost?

In October 2011, the headline total coverage was almost 85% complete. Today, based upon the 1 April statistics, that figure is 88.2%. That is a move in the positive direction. In the last survey, there were 54 completed local authority areas. Today there are 35 that are 100% “complete”. That’s a loss, but there are now 208 local authority areas that are greater than 95% complete. That’s almost 51% of the 408 local authorities that are very well mapped. 58.3% (238/408) of local authorities are now greater than 90% complete (previously it was 48.5% or 198/408) whilst 75.4% have greater than 80% coverage today (previously 66.4%). That represents 308 local authorities.

Several local authorities have lost the coveted 100% coverage and dropped into the very high 90% ranges. Sometimes a few new roads will lead to such a change, and if the OSM community is not so strong in these areas the map is soon out of date. Some of the changes will be from the change to the new licence. At the bottom of the league table the lowest coverage area has just 52.49% coverage. This is Craven district. The new bottom five are (from lowest to highest): Craven, Derwentside, Burnley, Hambleton and Knowsley. The city of Plymouth is at position 402/408. There is generally the same north/south divide present again. Wales and Scotland still look very well covered (with the exception of the Higlands and north of Scotland) and there is a swathe of Central England that is well covered. The belt from Lincolnshire to Cumbria is least well mapped.

Overall the statistics claim there are now 102,108 roads missing with a total of 4,139 minor issues. This is out of the OS Locator total of 855,634 roads.

Generally there has been a gain in roads added to the map as the OSM phenomena really picks up pace. This is despite the licence change and removal of “incompatible” data.


About mappedit

Geographical practitioner with an interest in climate change, open mapping, sustainability, the transition movement, transport and many other things.
This entry was posted in Data Quality, ITO!, OpenStreetMap. Bookmark the permalink.

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