OSM Semantic Network

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A subset of the OSM Semantic Network with concepts 'amenity', 'university', 'building' and 'school'

The OpenStreetMap Semantic Network is a Semantic Web resource extracted from the OSM Wiki website, encoded as a SKOS vocabulary. It contains a machine-readable representation of OSM tags, and several semantic relations between them. The network is Linked Open Data. This semantic network is extracted by an open source crawler developed in Java/Groovy, the OSM Wiki Crawler. The OSM tags are mapped on corresponding concepts in WordNet and LinkedGeoData.


The dataset is available in the following ways:

RDF/SKOS content

The OSM Semantic Network is an RDF graph extracted from this wiki website. It is a SKOS vocabulary.

Namespace: http://spatial.ucd.ie/lod/osn

Short namespace: osn


Semantic relations (RDF properties)

The following semantic relations (RDF properties) are utilised in the network:

Semantic similarity of OSM tags

In OpenStreetMap, map features are described with tags, such as amenity=university, and highway=primary. These tags correspond to geographic concepts, represented in our OSM Semantic Network. Using the OSM Semantic Network, it is possible to compute the semantic similarity of the tags. For example, a university is conceptually more similar to a school than to a river. A semantic similarity measure aims at quantifying this fact with a real number, typically between 0 and 1.

The folder http://spatial.ucd.ie/osn/similarities contains pre-computed similarity scores between OSM tags. These scores were computed using co-citation measures, based on link patterns between the network nodes. Please note that different similarity measures can be more or less appropriate depending on the particular application context. Based on our empirical evaluation, PRank measures obtain the best results in an abstract setting.


Example of SPARQL queries on the OSM Semantic Network (currently offline):


If you use the OSM Semantic Network in your research, please reference this paper:

   Ballatore, A., Bertolotto, M., & Wilson, D. C. (2013).
   Geographic knowledge extraction and semantic similarity in OpenStreetMap.
   Knowledge and Information Systems, 37(1), 61-81.

Author and contact

Project author and maintainer: Andrea Ballatore

If you have any issue/comment/suggestion, drop an email at andrea.ballatore [at] gmail.com.

Related Projects

See also