Analyzing the Behaviors of OpenStreetMap Volunteers in Mapping Building Polygons Using a Machine Learning Approach

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ISPRS INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GEO-INFORMATION, vol.11, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ijgi11010070
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, INSPEC, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: OpenStreetMap, volunteered geographic information, cartography, building footprint, machine learning, QUALITY ASSESSMENT, INFORMATION, NETWORKS
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Mapping as an action in volunteered geographic information is complex in light of the human diversity within the volunteer community. There is no integrated solution that models and fixes all data heterogeneity. Instead, researchers are attempting to assess and understand crowdsourced data. Approaches based on statistics are helpful to comprehend trends in crowd-drawing behaviors. This study examines trends in contributors' first decisions when drawing OpenStreetMap (OSM) buildings. The proposed approach evaluates how important the properties of a point are in determining the first point of building drawings. It classifies the adjacency types of the buildings using a random forest classifier for the properties and aids in inferring drawing trends from the relative impact of each property. To test the approach, detached and attached building groups in Istanbul and Izmir, Turkey, were used. The result had an 83% F-score. In summary, the volunteers tended to choose as first points those further away from the street and building centroid and provided lower point density in the detached buildings than the attached ones. This means that OSM volunteers paid more attention to open spaces when drawing the first points of the detached buildings in the study areas. The study reveals common drawing trends in building-mapping actions.