Our OSM team continually processes billions of anonymized GPS traces we receive through the Scout app and partners, in order to discover things potentially wrong or missing in OSM. We call this effort ImproveOSM, and it is a big part of Telenav’s overall mission to keep making OSM even better.
Our most recent update to ImproveOSM was a particularly big one. In the last month, we added:
- 133 thousand missing roads tiles
- Another 75 thousand tiles that are likely parking areas or tracks
- Another 670 thousand (!) water tiles (see below)
- 300 thousand suspected turn restrictions with over 50% high confidence
Using ImproveOSM data
Perhaps you have not looked at ImproveOSM data before. It is available through the ImproveOSM website, which is based on the iD editor. The screenshots on this page are from that website. If you know how to edit with iD, you will find it easy to work with ImproveOSM data and use it to edit OSM. We wrote a post that goes into more detail a little while ago.
If you prefer JOSM, we have created an ImproveOSM JOSM plugin as well. it works similar to the website: you choose what ImproveOSM data you want to see (suspected missing roads, suspected wrong one-way roads, or suspected missing turn restrictions, or all of the above!), and the plugin will show you the ImproveOSM data as a separate layer. We also have a blog post about using the JOSM plugin.
Finally, a few interesting/funny examples of ImproveOSM data around the world.
ImproveOSM data points out that a new road alignment is now in use. Aerial imagery and OSM have not been updated yet. This is in northern Sweden.
Here, we stumble upon an under-mapped town north of Surat, India. Of course, there are un- and under-mapped areas everywhere in the world, but the ImproveOSM data shows that there are people driving around on these streets using a GPS-enabled app or vehicle — people who would benefit from better OSM data in their everyday lives. It is not hard to find places like this around the world.
Finally, an animation showing clusters of ‘water’ tiles. This is a side effect of the partner data we process. Since it’s anonymized there is no way to say anything about why these traces exist. Useful for OSM? Perhaps. Interesting? I think so!
Are you finding interesting, useful, funny, or wrong data in ImproveOSM? Let us know! Happy Mapping!