I’ve updated the statistics that I regularly produce from our changeset dump, see stats page on wiki.openstreetmap.org, to the end of 2014 numbers.
The well known trends continue with growth in every category with a total of 472’925 contributors since 2005.
Looking back on the 10th anniversary celebrations in 2014 it is important to note that was celebrating the birth of the idea, not the start of success.
Success slowly started in 2007 with the project taking off in 2008, for a Web 2.0 undertaking prior to that it was a flop. Perhaps even better than a graph Martijn van Exel’s “then and now” map comparision with 2007 illustrated just how much of nothing OSM was back then (unluckily the comparision is no longer available).
It is diffcult to nail down why the sudden change in course happened, likely it was more the pieces of a puzzle falling in place than just one cause. However if asked to point to a single person and event, I would clearly point to Richard Fairhurst and the Potlatch editor being the pivotal person and thing that changed the course of history for OSM.
Comment from RobJN on 9 January 2015 at 22:22
Good to see a jump in 2014 after what looked like a worrying flattening off in 2013.
Do you by any chance have breakdown by region? I’d be interested to see the number of active contributors in reasonably well mapped regions (e.g. the UK).
Comment from SimonPoole on 9 January 2015 at 22:37
Yes it is not quite clear what caused the big increase in 2012 followed by an essentially flat 2013. While it is possible to generate such stats per region (and I have played with doing so), it is not really so well defined how to actually determine where a mapper actually belongs to.
Pascal Neis provides daily regional stats here http://osmstats.neis-one.org/?item=countries that work quite well.
Comment from jremillard on 11 January 2015 at 18:56
We are around 35% the size of Wikipedia in active monthly contributors.
Comment from SomeoneElse on 12 January 2015 at 13:01
Re 2012 - perhaps lots of press coverage about the licence change? Maybe we ought to do that more often :)