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Measuring Completeness of Building Footprints in OpenStreetMap over Space and Time

1
Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development Germany, Weberplatz 1, Dresden 01217, Germany
2
Institute for Cartography, Dresden University of Technology, Helmholtzstr. 10, Dresden 01069, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2(4), 1066-1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi2041066
Received: 30 September 2013 / Revised: 29 October 2013 / Accepted: 30 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Due to financial or administrative constraints, access to official spatial base data is currently limited to a small subset of all potential users in the field of spatial planning and research. This increases the usefulness of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), in particular OpenStreetMap (OSM), as supplementary datasets or, in some cases, alternative sources of primary data. In contrast to the OSM street network, which has already been thoroughly investigated and found to be practically complete in many areas, the degree of completeness of OSM data on buildings is still unclear. In this paper we describe methods to analyze building completeness and apply these to various test areas in Germany. Official data from national mapping and cadastral agencies is used as a basis for comparison. The results show that unit-based completeness measurements (e.g., total number or area of buildings) are highly sensitive to disparities in modeling between official data and VGI. Therefore, we recommend object-based methods to study the completeness of OSM building footprint data. An analysis from November 2011 in Germany indicated a completeness of 25% in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and 15% in Saxony. Although further analyses from 2012 confirm that data completeness in Saxony has risen to 23%, the rate of new data input was slowing in the year 2012. View Full-Text
Keywords: OpenStreetMap; building data; Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI); completeness; quantitative comparison OpenStreetMap; building data; Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI); completeness; quantitative comparison
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Hecht, R.; Kunze, C.; Hahmann, S. Measuring Completeness of Building Footprints in OpenStreetMap over Space and Time. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2013, 2, 1066-1091.

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