An introduction to OpenStreetMap and some use in research
|GIS & Remote Sensing Platform, Biodiversity and Molecular Ecology Department|
|IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach|
|Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all'Adige, (TN), Italy|
Keywords: OpenStreetMap, Geodata, Opendata
OpenStreetMap is a worldwide project for the collection and distribution of free geographic data. As in Wikipedia, the users are able to insert, update and maintain data. Born in 2004 as a project to collect data of the road network, it has grown in an impressive way thanks to few requirements needed for adding new data: an Internet connection and the possibility to obtain geo-referenced data, commonly through a GPS. Additionally, digitizing in the Web browser from aerial photos is possible. Now within the database the user can find a various geo-referenced information: like any kind of network (roads, ferry connections, hiking trails, cross-country ski trails...), and point data like guideposts in the mountains, amenities, touristic information and a myriad of other elements. The number of users has grown significantly, as of late April 2012, nearly 600,000 users were registered. In terms of scientific applications, like extraction of elements for base cartography, or the creation of dedicated routing systems, geospatial data quality analysis, and social studies on smart cities or about users communities.