New study comparing OpenStreetMap with TomTom from 2009-2011

Alexander Zipf, Chair of GIScience, Department of Geography, University of Heidelberg, Germany shared news of an article comparing OSM and TomTom data in Germany.

A new study by the GIScience Research Group of the University of Heidelberg ( that compares the evolution of the crowdsourcing project OpenStreetMap (OSM) with the commercial dataset from TomTom/Teleatlas has just been published. It is available fulltext as Open Access at and covers the years 2009 to 2011 in Germany. 
As shown earlier the data contributions to OSM show a geographically heterogeneous pattern around the globe. Germany counts as one of the most active countries in OSM; thus, the German street network has undergone an extensive development in recent years. The question that remains is this: How does the street network perform in a relative comparison with a commercial dataset? By means of a variety of studies, the authors show that the difference between the OSM street network for car navigation in Germany and a comparable proprietary dataset was only 9% in June 2011. The results of the analysis regarding the entire street network showed that OSM even exceeds the information provided by the proprietary dataset by 27%. Further analyses show on what scale errors can be reckoned with in the topology of the street network, and the completeness of turn restrictions and street name information. In addition to the analyses conducted over the past few years, projections have additionally been made about the point in time by which the OSM dataset for Germany can be considered “complete” in relative comparison to a commercial dataset.
 Neis, Pascal; Zielstra, Dennis; Zipf, Alexander. 2012. "The Street Network Evolution of Crowdsourced Maps: OpenStreetMap in Germany 2007–2011." Future Internet 4, no. 1: 1-21.

Published Friday, December 30th, 2011

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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