Steve Chilton of Middlesex University recently created a cool map in GeoCommons comparing street coverage for OpenStreetMap (OSM) and Google/TeleAtlas in several cities across the globe. It provided a fascinating perspective and thought it would be cool to share it with the community.
The project began with work by Bernard Zwischenbrugger to visually compare coverages between OSM and Google/TeleAtlas. Then Alex Mauer picked up the ball and did a numerical analysis of coverage. Steve then took Bernard’s original visual comparison (location data) and Alex’s scoring (numerical comparison) and produced a map to visualize the results of the comparison:
The size of the circles are proportional to the values for both, so small circles equal poor coverage and large circles equal good coverage. The overlap of the circles shows who appears to be doing better (orangey/brown showing means that osm is doing better, blue google). OSM is the top layer so a tie will have OSM looking better, but you can click the layers on and off to see both views of the coverage.
Alex’s original assessment was that OSM is slightly ahead of Google/TeleAtlas worldwide and in in Africa and Asia. In Europe, OSM is well ahead. Google is slightly ahead in Oceania, and well ahead in North and especially South America.
Steve would have liked to be able to show results on a combined scale from +5 (for osm 5, google 0) to -5 (osm 0, google +5), with 0 for equal, but we do not yet ha ve a bi-polar colour scale for point data in the software. A great suggestion for future development.
It will be interesting to see how Google’s launch of MapMaker for 162 countries will impact this comparison in the future. Many thanks to Steve for loading the data into Finder and making cool maps with it.
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