Value of OSM

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Page for estimating the financial value of OSM data, or the cost of producing it, based on a mailing list thread in June 2006

Considering it is estimated to take 1-2 days for mapping a medium-sized town, it should be possible to map somewhere in a weekend (see Weekend mapping projects)

Speed of surveying, estimates

Method Surveying time Editing time
Roads, by car
Country roads, by bike
Towns and villages, by bike Approx 1-2 days for medium-sized town (like Sandy, which is about 40% complete after an afternoon's (5 hours) cycling)

Waddington took 6-7 hours (over 5 days)

2.5 hours/85 roads Wellingborough

Shipston-on-Stour - population approx. 4,500 - 3 hours to survey on cycle

About 2-3 hours per town or village, including all road names and designations

Shipston-on-Stour - population approx. 4,500 - 4 hours to tag all streets, road names, phone boxes, amenities, landuse etc.

Cities, by bike 1 hour per 15 miles of street?

150 hours for 100,000 population, outer suburbs of London

1 hour of editing per hour of tracklog recording

Cities, by foot 1 hour per 3 miles of street?
London streets, using eCourier data n/a (but thanks to the couriers!)
Bridleways and cycle routes 1 hour per 15 miles? 0.5 hours per 30 miles of cycleway or footpath?
Footpaths 1 hour per 3 miles + travel time to reach the footpaths
Rivers, by satellite photo n/a Ojw did about 40 miles of the Thames in about 4 hours. Most of that time was waiting for data-transfer

Estimates of OSM size

Feature Approx. number in OSM database Estimation method
Towns at least 11 towns in the UK, plus 17 villages near Bedford from PDF atlas/places.txt
Cities at least 20 in the UK from PDF atlas/places.txt
Roads 34,000 miles Planet.osm from may, including untagged segments assumed to be roads, but excluding things tagged as railways and paths
Bridleways and cycleways
Footpaths 500 miles Planet.osm from May
Railways 500 miles Planet.osm from May

Cost of equivalent commercial data

Accenture applied four methods to generate a valuation range for OSM. After evaluating the variability and uncertainty of many of the underlying assumptions in these approaches, the community replacement cost method was deemed the most reliable method for estimating the value of the OSM asset. Combining the total replacement cost of the OSM database, the value of the software development effort and industry standard maintenance costs yielded a total community replacement cost of $1,672,415,000 [1]

See also