Evolving roads

Posted by joost schouppe on 18 January 2017 in English (English)

In my quest to understand the growth of OSM, I had a little fun today.

I took the 1/1/2017 full history dump for Brussels and I extracted a shapefile with all the versions of all the highway=* that ever existed.

Then I wanted to visualize it to see if there was a pattern in how the roads get mapped: "first real roads, then paths" or "everything all the time". So I styled the paths clear green, the roads thin black and used a gray background for the current highways. Then I rendered a slide for every month.

Brussels link

It looks really cool, because it doesn't just show the chaos of our growth. As the black roads are drawn slightly transparent and the monthly slide shows every version of the road in that month, "active areas" show up in heavy black. I think it's really pretty.

On the occasion that it was a featured image in the Weekly OSM, I made a new version without a gray background and with a more logical image size.

Brussels link

You can download the individual images here and the shapefile (ugh, a shapefile) here

Comment from tyr_asd on 18 January 2017 at 17:21

Very nice! Did you use osm-history-renderer to extract the geometries from the history dump, or something else?

Hide this comment

Comment from joost schouppe on 18 January 2017 at 19:09

I do use the splitter and importer from that toolchain, but I used psql2shp to extract the data I needed. (I don't know enough Postgres to be able to do much rendering directly from there, and the renderer itself uses the previous generation OSM rendering which I don't know how to tweak)

Hide this comment

Comment from derFred on 19 January 2017 at 07:22

Pretty cool ;-)

Hide this comment

Comment from jinalfoflia on 30 January 2017 at 13:23

This is so cool! :-)

Hide this comment

Leave a comment

Parsed with Markdown

  • Headings

    # Heading
    ## Subheading

  • Unordered list

    * First item
    * Second item

  • Ordered list

    1. First item
    2. Second item

  • Link

  • Image

    ![Alt text](URL)

Login to leave a comment