GOAT (Geo Open Accessibility Tool)
GOAT - Geo Open Accessibility Tool from Plan4Better
|Type of site||Accessibility Instrument|
Plan4Better is a startup based in Munich, Germany, comprised of environmental engineers and GIS developers focused on sustainable city design and planning. It began as part of TUM’s Venture Lab Built Environment with a core team in Munich in addition to support from abroad. The main tool Plan4Better supplies is GOAT (Geo Open Accessibility Tool). GOAT is designed to interactively analyze walking and cycling accessibility to foster active mobility and plan more sustainable cities. It was initially under development at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and had initial funding by the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The source code and software used to build GOAT are fully open source. GOAT is mainly built with OpenStreetMap (OSM) data and its community works actively to improve the OSM data.
Getting in touch
Here you can find different sources through which you can contact us, follow our latest news and participate in our project. You are very welcome!
It is evident that active mobility plays a very important role in urban mobility. GOAT as an accessibility instrument aims to therefore aid in rising awareness to properly plan for pedestrians and cyclists during urban infrastructural developments. GOAT comes with numerous desirable features that make it ideal for accessibility planning.
Modeling active mobility (walking & cycling) in transport models is challenging and does not normally deliver the expected results. Urban planners and decision-makers need to elaborate support to properly plan and improve active mobility. This gap can be conveniently filled by accessibility instruments. Accessibility instruments combine land-use data (population, Points-of-interest) with transport data (road network) and thereby model potential mobility. The accessibility concept in general is characterized by its high flexibility and extensive scope. Therefore, unsurprisingly various definitions are existing in the scientific literature:
- ‘The potential of opportunities for interaction’ (G. Hansen 1959)
- ‘The extent to which the land use-transport system enables (groups of) individuals or goods to reach activities or destinations by means of a (combination of) transport mode(s)’ (Geurs and Van Eck 2001)
GOAT can be used to answer different planning questions. Some examples are:
- How good is the walking accessibility to schools in different parts of the city?
- How many residents are served by certain public transport stops?
- Where can the perfect location for a new public transport stop be in order to serve as many residents as possible?
- What is the effect of a new pedestrian bridge on the accessibility of a neighborhood?
- How does the accessibility of a place change if there is temporary closure of a walkway?
- How high is the diversity and availability of gastronomy in different neighborhoods?
- How does walking accessibility change when we consider only barrier-free paths?
- How does the accessibility to supermarkets in an area change if we add a new supermarket?
Many more related questions on transport and land-use planning will follow. GOAT is mainly designed to be useful for planners, researchers and decision makers, but due to is open nature it invites everybody to use it.
GOAT architecture is completely built with open source software, in addition it is open source itself (Licence GPL-3.0). This means that GOAT can be modified and used by anyone (free of charge). Anyone can also contribute towards improving functionality and operation of GOAT.
GOAT is built with OSM-data. It also has to be underlined that the setup of GOAT allows frequent data updates, this makes it easy for users to improve OSM data and benefit from rising data quality in the analysis. Although GOAT is built with OSM-data other data sources can be conveniently added. Due to its modular nature, the GOAT application allows for easy extension and scalability. Since it is developed as a research project, state-of-the art and innovative approaches are widely used.
Everybody is welcome to use and contribute to GOAT. If you are interested in contributing just visit GitHub.
OpenStreetMap and GOAT
Using OpenStreetMap data for GOAT
GOAT can practically use all sorts of data, however, the current data operation technique focuses on the use of OSM data. OSM was used as the main source of data since it is the most widely known open geospatial data source. OSM is also a standardized data schema with ubiquitous availability. The automatic setup already supports custom land-use and population data hence other types of data can be effectively inserted into the database.
A combination of SQL and Python scripts are used for the preparation of data. Besides the extraction of Points-of-Interest (POIs), public transport stops and land-use, the setup also allows for disaggregation of population data with the use of administrative, land-use and OSM data. During the disaggregation operation, GOAT can process administrative data in varying resolutions. Generally, the better the OSM building data and the administrative data, the better the result of the disaggregation. OSM is an open geospatial data-set hence the quality of data and analysis depend on the activity of the local OSM community. Consequently, this allows and invites every person and entity interested in using tools like GOAT to improve the local OSM-data.
How do we improve OSM data?
A big part of our job is to improve the OSM data. Our goal is to have a model as close to real life infrastructure as possible.
In order to reach that goal we:
- add missing path-connections
- add missing Points-of-Interest
- verify the information of existing Points-of-Interests
- check the tags of the objects while we look over for quality of the infrastructure through field visits or using Mapillary
- organize mapping parties with students
- supervise Bachelor Thesis, Study Projects and Master Thesis that are related to improve Open Data
Our OSM-contributions are currently mainly around Munich, Freiburg, Görlitz, and Aachen but also many other cities in Germany. But as GOAT can be transferred to any region worldwide, contribution in further cities will follow every time GOAT is transferred.
Objects that we map
- Points-of-Interest (e.g. Supermarkets, Pharmacies, Schools, Kindergartens)
- Opening hours of different amenities
- Building Types
- Building Levels
- Street Attributes (e.g. Surface, Smoothness, Sidewalk-Availability, Maxspeed)
- Street Crossings
OSM Contributors / Plan4Better-Team
|Name||OSM Username||Mapillary Username|
On Mapillary all team members are part of the GOAT community
Data Team Guidelines
We try to mark all our mapping-Changesets with:
- #goatffb for Fürstenfeldbruck
- #goatfr for Freising
- #goatmuc for Munich
- goatmvv for MVV-Region
- goatfreiburg for Freiburg-Region
- goataachen for Aachen-Region