Quality Assessment of Remote Mapping in OpenStreetMap for Disaster Management Purposes

Melanie Eckle, João Porto de Albuquerque


Over the last couple of years Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) and particularly OpenStreetMap (OSM) have emerged as an important additional source of information in disaster management. The so-called OSM Crisis Maps are primarily developed by OSM contributors who work remotely. While local OSM contributors know their area of interest and rely upon local knowledge, often the sole basis for the remote mapping is satellite imagery. This fact may raise doubts about the quality of the Crisis Maps. This study introduces an experimental approach to assess the data quality that remote mappers produce. In an experimental setting, data sets produced by a group of remote mappers are evaluated by comparing them to data sets created by a selected expert mapper with local knowledge. The presented approach proved to be useful for assessing data quality of remote mapping and can be used to support decisions about the suitability of crowdsourced geographic data.

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