OSM Water: How well are Minnesota’s water features mapped?

Sunday, 9:30 AM – 20 min
Matthew Manley, Bentley Breithaupt, Alex Sweeney

Water-related features are an often-overlooked part of the OpenStreetMap model. These features help create the natural context for the map and add important reference information. In Minnesota, a large proportion of these features are derived from bulk imports of data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). Our project seeks to understand the degree to which OSM water data in Minnesota has “moved beyond” NHD through edits or the addition of new features derived from additional sources. This project will identify differences between OSM water features and NHD water features in the hopes of identifying how data evolves from the bulk import phase to the current state of the map. Our presentation will include a discussion of the methodology we used for data preparation and analysis, as well as our proposal for improving the quality of OSM water data in Minnesota in the future. This research will be relevant for those interested in identifying gaps in OSM data, mapping natural features, and mapping in Minnesota more generally.