Current research project: OSM-GB
Can a crowdsourced geospatial database be considered authoritative? Indeed can any dataset that describes the real world be considered authoritative, whether crowd sourced or “professionally compiled”? Who determines authority? What constitutes authority in geodata? Does authority matter and if it does, why? What actions or processes might contribute to promoting crowdsourced geodata to a position of authority? We want to consider the nature of authority in geospatial data and whether it might be possible for a crowdsourced dataset such as OpenStreetMap (although these observations could apply to any crowdsourced geodata) to become authoritative or a primary reference source.
OSM-GB is a collaboration between Nottingham Geospatial Institute and 1Spatial that will apply 1Spatial’s rules based geodata quality tools to a GB extract of OSM. The resulting “improved” and structured data will be projected into British National Grid and served as an OGC Web Map Service and Web Feature Service.
The project has 2 main strands of research:
- Applying rules based quality improvement processes to OSM to identify possible errors and after some experiment and refining of the rules potentially to automatically correct some geometric and attribute errors. The “improved” dataset will be available for download from the OSM-GB web site and could be offered back to the main OSM database (probably as a basis for further inspection prior to incorporation).
- By making the “improved” data available via standards based web services, it is hoped that public sector users in both central and local government will be encouraged to experiment with OSM and identify potential use cases for OSM that are not met by the geodata currently available through the PSMA. A number of organisations have already confirmed interest in accessing OSM-GB.
The project is funded by 1Spatial and is in collaboration with KnowWhere, SnowFlakes, Esri-UK and Pitney Bowes.
Project website: http://www.osmgb.org.uk
Project runs: 2012-2013
Project contact: Jeremy Morley