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A Photogrammetric Approach for Assessing Positional Accuracy of OpenStreetMap© Roads

Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University, 4400 University, MS6C3, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
Integrity Application Incorporated, 15020 Conference Center, Suite 100, Chantilly, VA 20151, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2(2), 276-301;
Received: 16 January 2013 / Revised: 28 February 2013 / Accepted: 18 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
PDF [1844 KB, uploaded 18 April 2013]


As open source volunteered geographic information continues to gain popularity, the user community and data contributions are expected to grow, e.g., CloudMade, Apple, and Ushahidi now provide OpenStreetMap© (OSM) as a base layer for some of their mapping applications. This, coupled with the lack of cartographic standards and the expectation to one day be able to use this vector data for more geopositionally sensitive applications, like GPS navigation, leaves potential users and researchers to question the accuracy of the database. This research takes a photogrammetric approach to determining the positional accuracy of OSM road features using stereo imagery and a vector adjustment model. The method applies rigorous analytical measurement principles to compute accurate real world geolocations of OSM road vectors. The proposed approach was tested on several urban gridded city streets from the OSM database with the results showing that the post adjusted shape points improved positionally by 86%. Furthermore, the vector adjustment was able to recover 95% of the actual positional displacement present in the database. To demonstrate a practical application, a head-to-head positional accuracy assessment between OSM, the USGS National Map (TNM), and United States Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding Referencing (TIGER) 2007 roads was conducted. View Full-Text
Keywords: OpenStreetMap (OSM); positional accuracy; vector; roads; adjustment OpenStreetMap (OSM); positional accuracy; vector; roads; adjustment

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Canavosio-Zuzelski, R.; Agouris, P.; Doucette, P. A Photogrammetric Approach for Assessing Positional Accuracy of OpenStreetMap© Roads. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2, 276-301.

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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. EISSN 2220-9964 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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