OpenStreetMap

Adding unknown roads using ImproveOSM

Posted by mvexel on 24 February 2017 in English (English)

When using ImproveOSM, the Telenav tool to find and add missing roads (and other missing things) in OSM, sometimes there is just no detailed aerial imagery to see exactly what road type it is.

example

While you could say, 'Well without being able to see, I won't add anything'. But because ImproveOSM uses actual GPS traces from drivers, you know that people have been driving there. From the image in the example you can see that a fair number of people must have taken this route, so there must be some sort of road there.

So what I suggest is to add the road as simply highway=road (generic road tag). Then you or someone else can improve it later, based on better imagery or local knowledge.

The example in the image is this new way.

Remember that you can select multiple tiles on ImproveOSM by holding Shift while selecting. That way you can more quickly mark multiple tiles as Solved.

markdone

Comment from Warin61 on 24 February 2017 at 20:48

Hi, I know one mapmaker who uses the speed of the vehicles along a road to gauge the road type/condition ... it may be possible to do the same here by comparing the gps speed to other roads in the area.

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Comment from mvexel on 24 February 2017 at 21:02

That's a good idea. Unfortunately we don't have access to that information in most cases. The GPS locations have been anonymized to exclude things like the timestamp, so they can't be used to determine the speed driven.

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Comment from imagico on 24 February 2017 at 22:33

It should be noted that what Bing offer is by far not the best available imagery here - even when ignoring the better black-and-white image offered by Mapbox in this case. Even though the classification of the road is not really identifiable from images, often not even when they are very high resolution, it is generally advisable to have some image as context when you map in an area where you lack recent first hand on-the-ground knowledge.

This is especially important for parts of the world where roads might be seasonal - like winter roads over a frozen lake - not really an issue in southern Sweden but definitely a possibility elsewhere in Scandinavia.

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