Introducing OSM-GB

23rd May 2012

OSM-GB is a project which seeks to measure and improve the quality of OpenSteetMap for Great Britain.  Initiated at The University of Nottingham‘s Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI), the OSM-GB project is a collaborative research programme with 1Spatial and KnowWhere.  The quality and authority of OpenStreetMap and crowdsourced data in general has long been debated; the overarching purpose of this project it to investigate differences between the OSM crowd-sourced database and complementary features in authoritative and quality-controlled Ordnance Survey datasets to try to apply country-wide data quality improvements to OpenStreetMap.  You can follow the progress of the project on the project blog.

The project is divided into three broad areas:

  1. Infrastructure
    This aims to establish web mapping infrastructure for loading, processing and serving the OSM-GB product.
  2. Rules catalogue
    This aspect centres around the application of 1Spatial’s rules based geodata quality tools (Radius Studio software) to the data and feed quality controlled data back into the web mapping infrastructure and back to the wider OSM community.
  3. OSM-GB: Your Country Needs You Community Engagement
    The OSM-GB team are keen to introduce this project to the wider GIS community so that end user and community needs can be established early on and engage in a two way exchange of information and ideas.


The OSM-GB infrastructure has been set up and the data has now been run through Radius Studio to fix basic geometry errors (spikes, kick-backs, small-rings and duplicates).  A number of web services have been announced on the project blog which are now in early testing phases across different GIS software.

The project will start to engage with the wider GIS community in order to find out what types of products/services people want, outline the rules that are being used to improve the quality of the data and find out what people are hoping to have fixed in OSM data.  Here at Esri UK we are building a few test harnesses to test the early web service outputs of the project.