openstreetmap gps coverage

OpenStreetMap recently made a bulk dump of GPS points available as a massive 55Gb csv file.


This heatmap shows a random sample of 1% of the points and their distribution, to show where GPS is used to upload data to the map. There are just short of 2.8 billion points, so the sample is nearly 28 million points. Red cells have the most points, blue cells have the fewest.


Points were given a geohash, and the first 3 characters of the geohash were used to bin the points into a regular grid.


Using a couple of python scripts, and tidied up the SVG in Inkscape. Geohashing code here.


You can see some interesting patterns:

- some europe-carribean flights/boat journeys

- flights from US west coast to NZ

- a hotspot over Germany, UK and central/eastern Europe

- an odd delineated band between 30N and 30S in the oceans - this may be a result of the sampling


Data copyright OpenStreetMap and its contributors, CC-BY-SA.


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Taken on April 6, 2012