Quality assurance

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Available languages — Quality assurance
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See also: Accuracy, Completeness

Quality Assurance tools help lead to better quality of OSM data. Often, the tools achieve this by providing a list of bugs in the data, which mappers can then go and fix using editing tools. The bugs are either automatically detected based on rules and data analysis, or the tools provide a means of manually reporting them, or some combination of the two. There are many different ideas for how to do this, and what kind of bugs to focus on, hence many different tools.

OpenStreetMap is often more up-to-date and of a higher quality than other commercial maps when dealing with New and Changed Ways.

Bug reporting tools

These are tools that try to highlight and point out parts of the data that are likely wrong. There are also reports from manual quality checks by humans. In both cases, the reported issues may contain false positives and, when editing, care should be taken to ensure their accuracy. However, they can provide a very valuable visualisation of which areas need attention and can help spot and correct errors.

  • Notes
    Notes is a feature of the OpenStreetMap website. Error reports can be added by using the 'Add a note' button in the lower right corner. Notes uses the same concept as OpenStreetBugs. It is anticipated that OpenStreetBugs will be phased out and superseded by Notes.
  • MapDust
    MapDust is a bug tool operated by skobbler, which is also integrated into their OSM-based turn-by-turn navigation solution, thus originally focusing on navigation-relevant bugs but now serving as a general bug tool. As many of its users (end users!) may not be aware of OpenStreetMap at all, there are also quite a few non-relevant error reports included, but it does contain many good reports that are not covered by other tools. If a bug is determined to be caused by OSM data, an OSM editor can fix the data and mark the bug as resolved. Currently it is available in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Romanian.

Error detection tools

Error Detecting Tools check the OSM data for potential data errors, inaccuracy or sparsely mapped places. Users should check if these structures are really wrong (false positives usually occur and there are not really mapping rules which are set in stone) and correct the data for a continuously rising data quality.

Comparison of some of the following tools

Tool Coverage Error types Display type Fix suggestion Downloadable API Correction guide
Keep Right World Many (50+) Marker map No Yes  ? German only
Osmose Some countries Many (200+) Marker map Yes Yes Yes Yes
JOSM Validator Local Many List Yes - - For some problems
OSM Inspector World/Partial Many Rendered map No Yes  ? No
Maproulette World/Partial Many (10+) One feature at time No Yes Yes No
  • Keep Right
    Keep Right (keepright.at) shows a large number of automatically detected potential errors on a map or in list form. It has a system for reporting false positives and for labelling a bug as fixed. It has rules to automatically detect the following error types: non-closed areas, dead-ended one-ways, almost junctions, deprecated tags, missing tags, bridges/tunnels without layer (careful - not always an error), motorways without ref, places of worship without religion, POIs without name, ways without nodes, floating islands, un-tagged railway crossings, wrongly-used railway crossing tag, objects with FIXME=* tags, and relations without type. Keep Right shows tens of thousands of errors, including many that have little impact for most data uses (e.g. a stream intersecting a highway: technically some feature is needed here (a bridge, a culvert or a ford).
    There is a documentation on how to solve keep-right-errors, currently only in German language: DE:Keep Right Users Guide
  • Osmose
    Osmose ([1]) is a tool similar to Keep Right but offers even more error types. Obviously, this also includes smaller issues, like minor imprecisions or missing information that should be present in an ideal map. Currently, it covers a part of the world.
  • JOSM Validator
    JOSM/Validator. A feature of JOSM that checks data loaded into the editor, highlights errors and warnings, and can (on request) perform some automatic fixes. By default, it checks all objects modified in that session (and also reports errors if the error wasn't introduced by the uploader, but merely touched), but the validator can also perform complete validations on the downloaded data.
  • The Gary68 tools
    Gary68 has created a whole bunch of quality assurance tools. The tools are currently not maintained. Most of the tools are written in Perl (scripts for your computer – no web tools) and the source code of all Gary68 tools is published online. See also Category:gary68.
    • WayCheck is a program which checks the OSM data (file) for open ends and crossings. The found positions must be evaluated by a user and he or she can correct the data in JOSM or Potlatch or post a mark in Openstreetbugs. The Waycheck page lists reports generated by the program and any user is encouraged to run reports and correct errors listed on the page and its links. This is especially useful for the quality of routing related data.
    • MotorwayCheck lists problems related to highway=motorway. Page also shows reports.
    • osmdiff is a program which compares two osm files and documents the changes in list and map form. Some reports can be seen here: osmdiff reports.
    • unmappedplaces finds a list of potentially unmapped places. These are reported on the wiki page (or Unkartografiert page for German places) The query can be run for other countries as well.
    • Mapping Quality is the successor of unmappedplaces. See the wiki page for the results. You get automatic street directory, KPIs (numbers) per place, maps that show status and CSV files for further processing.
    • SomeChecks performs some checks: One-way check, Roundabout check, Double-node check (ways), Area Check.
    • Relation Diff - Differences in relations
    • Relation Check
  • Coastline Error Checker
    Coastline error checker ([2]) shows holes and other problems in coastlines.
  • OSM Inspector
    OSM Inspector ([3]) has several views for specific mapping needs.
  • TIGER Edited Map
    TIGER Edited Map ([4]) - Map showing which areas of the U.S. have been edited since the TIGER import.
  • Coarse Highway
    Ragged highways with few points (blog entry): Coarse Highways.
  • OS Locator Musical Chairs
    OS Locator Musical Chairs ([5]) attempts to intelligently match OSM streets in GB against the OS Locator streetname database and show a browsable interface of the results.
  • Map of Turn Restrictions
    map.comlu.com shows turn restrictions and has separate overlays for errors and warnings showing potential problems with turn restrictions. See also Relation:restriction#Tools for more tools.
  • US Interstate refs
    US interstate refs List of ref numbers and corresponding OSM interstates.
  • layers.openstreetmap.fr
    FR:Servers/layers.openstreetmap.fr provides a slippy map with image layers to help people find possible errors in the data with worldwide coverage. The service provides:>
    • layers with roads/street …
      • having no name
      • no ref
      • no one-way
      • drawing fixmes and notes texts.
    • This tool also generates half-transparent coloured layers showing administrative areas by admin_level, as well as other "political" areas (used in France for mapping electoral subdivisions, as well as intercommunal structures of cooperation that do not fit the hierarchy of admin levels, but used as well in other countries for similar non hierarchical administrative, judiciary and electoral boundaries). These coloured layers allow searching easily for missing/broken/incomplete/unclosed boundaries as well as overlapping/duplicate boundaries of the same type, or boundaries that are not tagged correctly to be found by querying the OSM database with simple filters (for example missing tag "boundary=administrative", missing or incorrect value in "admin_level=*").
  • MapQuest's Nominatim Broken Polygon Tool
    This tool shows polygons which present a problem for Nominatim. These ‘broken’ polygons could be where the interior of a multipolygon is disconnected or, where a polygon intersects itself.
  • housenumbervalidator
    housenumbervalidator checks addr:* attributes for duplicate addresses, incomplete addresses, and possibly incorrect street names. Results are displayed on a slippy map. Currently validation is performed for Germany and Austria only, as there are some language-specific checks.
    Other similar address tools:
  • Maproulette aka Remap-a-Tron
    Remap-a-Tron service, blog post and github – A customizable web application to crowd-source the fixing of specific mapping errors by randomly displaying an item of a specific type in potential need of fixing. Originally designed to highlight areas with ways deleted due to the license change, it is now expanding into a general front end for fixing identifiable problems. This service is also known as MapRoulette or maproulette.org.
  • osmlab's to-fix
    to-fix is similar to Maproulette (see previous); it shows a random error from a global list.
  • netzwolf's opening_hours & co. map
    [6] - Check Opening_hours, Service_times...
  • So that is what inaccessible road is!
    So that is what inaccessible road is! - displays the road segments, which for various reasons are inaccessible (they are also called "not route-able parts of the road network") on a map and allows editing in JOSM or Potlatch.
  • Routino error log
    Routino a router for OSM data can generate an error log file (when run with the --errorlog option) that lists problems found that could be data errors or Routino's limited understanding of the data and which may affect the ability to calculate valid routes. Since the purpose of the Routino error log is to find data that causes problems for Routino it does not mean that all reported items are data errors.
  • Bicycle tags map
    Bicycle tags map is a web map that shows bicycle related tags. The goal of this web map with bicycle tags is rendering bicycle related tags that are not (properly) rendered on OSM’s 'Mapnik' map or on the cyclemap version. It can be handy for detecting errors in OSM.
  • Administrative Grenzen in OSM
    A map that compiles all the german boundaries within OSM and also visualizes errors (unclosed multipolygones) http://ags.misterboo.de
  • Max Speed Overpass
    Max Speed Overpass is a web map that shows maximum speeds. The goal of this web map is to show max speed and edit this from this map using you favorite OSM editor. The data shown is always up to date because it uses overpass query.
  • CheckAutopista
    CheckAutopista [7] is a web map for checking information on freeways. It allows to check if maxspeed, lanes and name are used on the ways and it checks if the exits have it's ref and it's exit_to (or destination). Also it shows the freeway's service and rest areas and it's tollbooths.
  • Relation Analyzer
    The Relation Analyzer (http://ra.osmsurround.org/) helps to view several quality-assurance-related aspects of relations: (amongst others) relation on a map with segments' start and end marked, warning if the relation has gaps accompanied by a list of the segments if there are gaps, a height profile, type of ways included. tags.
  • analyser.openstreetmap.fr
    analyser.openstreetmap.fr is a relation analyse tool in real time. Given a relation id, it tests for validation of multipolygons of any kind, admin boundaries (and also linear relations to some extend).
  • qa.poole.ch
    qa.poole.ch is a tool to show streets with no names (respects noname=*), noaddress and access=yes tags.
  • Lyrk Unvollständige Adressen
    Lyrk Unvollständige Adressen shows elements with incomplete addr=* tagging.
  • Missing Roads
    Missing Roads compares tagged roads with GPS data from Scout to find missing roads (blog post).

Visualization tools

  • ITO Map
    ITO Map [8] is a map overlay service from ITO. The layers cover different data types: Barriers, Buildings and addresses, Car parks, Electricity distribution, Fixme, Former railways, Layers, Metro, Navigable waterways, Railways, Schools, Speed limits km/h, Speed limits mph, Tracktype, Unknown roads, Water.
  • Pedestrian overlay
    [9] – A map of pedestrian/walking data; useful when checking coverage or connectivity of pedestrian mapping.
    It aims to show pedestrian mapping coverage (how many of the pedestrian-taggable elements are tagged with pedestrian data); this may be useful to see how well an area is mapped for pedestrians.
    It also aims to give an idea of connectivity (how well elements are connected, i.e. whether pedestrian elements have nodes connected to each other via nodes, for example, sometimes pedestrian elements are mapped without showing how they connect, for example a path which connects to a sidewalk may not yet have a node connecting one another); this information may be helpful for those working on routing.

Monitoring Tools

In addition to the above error and bug reporting tools, there are a number of tools that allow you to spot erroneous changes and edits. For example if you are very familiar with an area and have thoroughly mapped it, you might want to follow all changes and verify that no unintended damage or vandalism has happened in the area. The Planet History includes all changes that have been made, but might not be as easy to use.

In case that a change is bad (by 'mistake' or vandalism) you can rollback the change.

The following and other tools also listed on the List of OSM based Services page.

  • osm.org
    API v0.6 introduced the concept of changeset. This is a group of edits made by particular user, with a comment. Some new displays have been developed for the web front end:
    • 'history' display showing recently closed changesets possibly affecting (bounding box overlap) the currently shown map area
    • 'User edits' display showing recently closed changesets by a particular user.
  • OpenStreetMap Watch List
    OWL (OpenStreetMap Watch List) - Watch what is happening in OSM in a special area. Currently featuring: the new History tab
  • ITO world OSM Mapper
    OSM Mapper - osmmapper is a tool (free sign up required) to let you see when an area has been mapped the last time. You can define a region you want to watch and subscribe to the related RSS-feed.
  • Real-time change following
    Currently nearly the same content: List of OSM based Services#Live/real-time edits to OSM data
    • LiveEditMapViewerJ is a java program that allows you to follow changes as they happen on a world map.
    • OSMZmiany is based on LiveMapViewerJ but has some additional features.
  • History Browser
    virtuelle-loipe's History Browser with diff tool for single nodes/ways/relations (side by side comparison of two versions).
  • Mapki's Deep Diff
    http://osm.mapki.com/history/ - diff tool for single nodes/ways/relations. Showing all versions in a table. A bookmarklet is available.
  • OSM Deep History
    http://osmlab.github.io/osm-deep-history/ - diff tool for single nodes/ways/relations (but without nodes of ways and does, currently, not work for relations). Showing all versions in a table. A bookmarklet is available.
  • OSM History Viewer
    OSM History Viewer (OSMHV) shows modifications by single changesets in a visual way, highlighting object positions before and after a given changeset and tag changes. See also: the tool achavi has a similar feature.
  • OSM Aware
    OSM Aware is a program (only Python source code, no web service anymore) to create KML files of OSM change positions.
  • Historical Coverage
    Historical Coverage service creates animations of the historical development in a specific area. (service no longer active)
  • UserActivity
    UserActivity Statistics and maps of user activity in two osm files. Possibly detect vandalism... Reports (for Germany) generated periodically.
  • WhoDidIt
    The WhoDidIt: OpenStreetMap Changeset Analyzer analyses what was changed in your area. You may need to select "month" or even "half a year" for the "age" parameter to see edits; display could take some seconds. Features an RSS feed to get informed about new changes.
    WTFPL licensed. At least two alternative versions exist. Longer description.
    Live implementations:
  • RSS History Filter
    RSS History Filter filters out large changesets from RSS feeds generated from the OpenStreetMap history tab.
  • Migurski's Changepipes
    Migurski's Changepipes which also gives you RSS feeds of changes for an area (after manual signup via email).
  • OSM control tool
    http://osmct.de ­– monitor free defined polygons and mail on changes. Only usable with (free?) registration?! (German language only)
  • tyrasd's RSS feed link creator
    QA RSS feed links for several services can be generated for a self-defined boundingbox at tyrasd.github.io/osm-qa-feeds.
  • tyrasd's Latest Changes service
    at http://tyrasd.github.io/latest-changes/ shows all recent changesets (within a week) which touched the current map area. Changed objects are highlighted in the map. The object highlight is changing colour (to less intense) with the age of the relevant changeset. Note that deleted objects and changesets with only deletes are not shown.
  • achavi
    achavi (Augmented Change Viewer) visualizes OpenStreetMap changes based on the Overpass API Augmented Delta (adiff) query. Supports continuous monitoring of an area of interest and visualizing single changesets (with some limitations).
  • OSM-analytic-tracker
    MichaelVL has developed an osm-analytic-tracker.

Assistant tools

  • Traffic Sign Tool
    Traffic Sign Tool - Assistant to get the right tags for German road signs.
  • QualityStreetMap
    QualityStreetMap ([10]) is a large grid for coordinating mapping work. You can select a tile and mark it complete for a specific tag. The grid covers the whole world and any tag. To edit the grid you have to log in with your OSM account. Zoom in to see the grid (min zoom level 12). The service is in beta.
  • Road lists
    Users in Germany requested different official lists: Straßenverzeichnis.
  • CheckTheMonuments
    Check The Monuments! More Quality for the Key Monument.
  • Overpass turbo
    Overpass API and the interface Overpass turbo lets you easily create custom queries which can be used to detect potential errors. The results get shown on a map with object detail links in popups and can be easily opened in JOSM. The example page lists some quality assurance uses.
  • (Missing) Maxheight map
    The Maxheight Map (aka OSM Truck QA Map) (website) is a Overpass API-based browser tool which helps you check and improve truck relevant features in OSM. Besides identifying missing maximum height tags under (railway) bridges and tunnels, you can also validate existing tagging for maximum height, width, length and weight amongst others.
  • OSM Quality Assurance Editor (by osmsurround)
    The OSM Quality Assurance Editor (website) helps to highlight (via Overpass API) missing data in several categories (tracks without tracktype tag, tracks without surface tag, streets without any sidewalk tag, ways without incline tag, ways without surface tag, ways without smoothness tag, buildings without address, residential without name) and allows to directly edit the objects via a built-in online editor.

Tag statistics

To compare the use of a tag or to see typos, use these statistical tools. See also: Statistics.

  • Taginfo
    Taginfo is a system for finding and aggregating information about OSM tags and making it browsable and searchable.
  • ITO Map
    ITO Map ([11]) is a map overlay service from ITO. It runs scripts that highlight specifics tags which shows how consistent, or not, use of that tag is. It displays groups of related tags simultaneously.


External compares

See also: Research

See also