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Open Street Map (OSM): Getting the most out of your TDM software

Rob Ludwig is RideAmigos’ backend developer. He shares some insight into how powerful a tool Open Street Map (OSM) can be, and how to maintain its high quality.

 

What Does it Do?

  • Free, open map of the planet with metadata.
  • Essentially a “Wikipedia” for geodata.
  • Uses the open database license.
  • Users can edit map info with streets, sidewalks, trails, and other features.
  • Provides local, on-the-ground knowledge.
  • Really available for use in commercial and noncommercial products.
  • Allows hundreds of different public transportation tags, along with roads and ways tags.

 

How to Maintain High Quality Data

  • Look at underlying OSM data when routing is counter-intuitive.
  • Participate in shaping data formats: new tags.
  • Encourage community participation, even if it’s armchair mapping.
  • Participate in and sponsor “Mapathons.”

 

The Benefits of Good OSM Data

  • Thousands of small, medium, and large apps use it.
  • Heavily used in academic settings.
  • A “Wikipedia” for most landmarks and cities.
  • Many humanitarian organizations use OSM after natural disasters occur to get the most accurate form of geodata on the area affected. (example: nepal 2015 earthquake)

 

 

TDM is about routing and showing your commuter options, so with better data from Open Street Map we’re able to provide better options.