Using OpenStreetMap Data with Open-Source GIS

Using OpenStreetMap Data with Open-Source GIS

 

INTRODUCTION

For many, free and open-source data and software represents accessibility to otherwise inaccessible geospatial workflows in terms of cost and availability. Commercial data used in geographic information systems (GIS) is available through a relatively small number of merchants or vendors, which produce highly accurate, precise, and detailed information. This is produced, however, at a cost that many small and large businesses, private consultants, and startups cannot afford. Open-source data, such as the volunteer geographic information on OpenStreetMap (OSM), represents a community effort to build one of the best web maps, and subsequently the best GIS database, available for free to the public. OpenStreetMap is a web-based map to which any registered user can submit data. These updates, over time, populate the now extensive web map that is the OpenStreetMap. At the same time, the data that lives on the OpenStreetMap can be downloaded and used inside of a GIS for geospatial analysis, cartographic rendering, and other geo-related tasks.

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