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Quality of OSM transportation networks

By using the Network Analyst of ArcGIS, one can calculate on the generated transportation network. Furthermore, service area analyses and location studies can be performed. Figure 3 shows a routing for motorcars in Münster, figure 4 show a service area analysis.

Figure 3: Routing for motorcars in Münster

Figure 4: Service area analysis in Münster

The created networks are comparable with other network analysis services. Comparisons were performed with ArcGIS independent OSM routing services (OpenRouteService, CloudMade, and YourNavigation), with network analysis data and services for ArcGIS (ESRI StreetMap Premium Teleatlas and European Route Finder TeleAtlas), as well as with an ArcGIS and OSM independent routing service (NAVTEQ Map24).

The field of application is limited because OSM data does not have as many attributes as other network analysis data from commercial data vendors. This data is adequate for simple applications like car, bicycle, and pedestrian routing because the data is collected in the perspective of motorcar drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians routing. However, a reliable truck route cannot yet be generated because truck attributes such as maximum weight and maximum height do not exist all over the country in OSM.

Additionally the recommendation of the usage of the generated transportation network data depends on the region. Countries like Germany and Great Britain are mapped very well. However, some other regions contain only main roads.

As a conclusion one can say that the network analysis data generated by the written program is adequate for many purposes. This is especially true for motorcar, cyclist, and pedestrian transportation networks.