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Update on the OGD Cadastre of Trees of Vienna in OpenStreetMap

Nearly 2 years ago the OpenGovernment cadastre of trees of the city of Vienna was imported into OpenStreetMap. All trees existing in OSM were not imported to not damage already mapped data. The thing still missing is to check which trees are already mapped and did not originate from the original import.

This post is a short update on my way to a script to automatically align the not yet entered OGD trees with already mapped OSM trees. So far, I wrote a python script that checks for existing entries by location. Thanks to spatial indexing and the very easy to use rtree library, this check can be done within about one minute but I’m not yet convinced by its results. The image below shows an excerp of the results of this analysis.

Preliminary analysis of matching trees

Preliminary analysis of matching trees

One thing that can be seen is that the city of Vienna added some more small parks to the dataset. As stated above, don’t take this image too seriously, it displays just preliminary results.

I’m currentrly thinking about re-implementing the script directly within the great QGIS Processing toolbox. This would make geographic debugging a lot easier since one can use the QGIS map window for outputting results while processing data.

Android: OÖ Quiz

Since a week ago you can download the Upper Austria Quiz from the Google Play store: OÖ Quiz on Google Play

Mascot of the OOE Quiz

Mascot of the OOE Quiz

Intro

I always wanted to learn how to program mobile devices. During Christmas holidays the government of Upper Austria called for mobile apps using their OpenGovernmentalData. So, the chance was taken and Kathi and me started to design an Android app. Actually it is an hybrid app. This means that you develop your complete app as an HTML5 project and bundle it with a small server. The result is a valid android APK which behaves like a native app. The advantages are that the toolkit we used to generate the package (Apache Cordova) is capable of producing running binaries for a whole bunch of operating systems, including Windows 7, BlackBerry, Symbian, WebOS, Android and, if you can afford it, iOS. Sinc we can’t pay 100$ per year to be allowed to just push the Quiz to the AppStore, there is no version for iPhone.

Toolkit

Since we both own Android devices, the app is optimized for Android devices. Still, there were some difficulties. First, we had to decide on a framework. jQuery Mobile seemed to be a reasonable choice at that time since it is well known and I already are used to default jQuery. Next time, I will go with a toolkit supporting any kind of MVC architecture that avoides usage of HTML whenever possible. One of these would be e.g. Kendo UI. But we chose jQuery Mobile and stuck to it.

Challanges

The size of the toolbar at the bottom was a perculiar problem: While it was easy to adjust the size of the font depending on different screen resolutions of different devices, the toolbar would not change its display height.

Toolbar of the OOE Quiz

Toolbar of the OOE Quiz

We decided that despite its fixed behaviour it will be usable in any case, even when being very small and optimized it for the lowest screen resolution we could find. This means the app runs on even very small devices.

Map Display

The map background is variable in size and automatically adjusts to the display size.

Map view of the OOE Quiz

Map view of the OOE Quiz

This is possible because we used the Leaflet JS library which is a GIS capable mapping library for JavaScript. The data displayed in this case are GeoJSON objects. So, it is easy to modify and add new information to the map at any time. Even the questions and their right answer are actually GeoJSON objects!

Questions

The questions are generated out of OGD and OSM data. The most work was not to generate the questions which was mostly a case of combining a fixed phrase with a word describing a location, but to manually filter these questions for plausability. It just does not make any sense to let the quiz ask for a very small mountain which only a few people of Austria know by name themselves. The same goes with lakes – in this case we filtered by their area.

Further Thoughts

It was a fun project and I find myself playing the quiz which is a good sign. Kathi and me, we already have ideas to extend the OÖ Quiz and even have plans for a quite advanced second version with multiplayer support – it depends on our free time whether we will implement it or not.

Analysing the OGD Vienna fire hydrants for OSM import

The Dataset

The OpenData initiative of the city of Vienna (http://data.wien.gv.at/) has released a dataset about all fire hydrants of vienna. On the 17th of April it contains of 12702 unique entries and no additional attributes.

OGD Vienna: Fire hydrants

OGD Vienna: Fire hydrants

One can see that the area of Vienna is completely covered. The dataset itself seems to be quite accurate.

OSM Data

In OpenStreetMap, a fire hydrant is marked with the tag “emergency=fire_hydrant”. When filtering the OSM dataset of Vienna from the 16th of April the following hydrants (blue dots) are revealed:

OSM: Fire hydrants in Vienna

OSM: Fire hydrants in Vienna

The sum of all fire hydrants in the OSM dataset was 67. They are not placed as dense as for example trees, therefore it is easier to find out which of the fire hydrants in the OGD dataset should not be imported.

Preparing for Import

A quick analysis revealed that with a buffer of 20 meters, most of the already mapped fire hydrants (63) can be detected and omitted.

Comparing fire hydrants in OGD and OSM

Comparing fire hydrants in OGD and OSM (red: OGD, blue: OSM)

OSM-import of the OpenGovernment TreeCadastre of Vienna

Yesterday the import of the OpenGovernment tree cadastre of vienna was performed. The data used for the import is from the 27th of November 2012.

The OGD Cadastre of Trees prior to the Import

The OGD Cadastre of Trees prior to the Import

The final dataset which was used for the import can be found here (http://gisforge.no-ip.org:5984/datastore/osm/ogd_trees_wien_selected.osm.bz2) while the trees that have been omitted can be downloaded here (http://gisforge.no-ip.org:5984/datastore/osm/ogd_trees_wien_notselected.osm.bz2).

Changes to the Original Method

The method used is the one as is described in previous posts with the exception that the substitution of certain entries in the original dataset was done by the python script and not manually by the user.

As was proposed by Friedrich Volkmann, every entry that does not fulfill the following criteria is marked with a the tag “fixme=Baum oder Strauch“.

if height <= 2 and (int(datetime.datetime.now().year) - year) >= 3

This means that every entry in the cadastre of trees which is smaller than 2 meters but is older than 3 years is suspiciously small in size and should be checked manually.

Omitted Trees

As can be seen by the following image (area around “Urban Loritz Platz”), already mapped trees could successfully be removed from the dataset. No trees are mapped multiple times or are removed.

Already mapped trees in OSM are not imported

Already mapped trees in OSM are not imported (green dots are already mapped trees)

The dataset with omitted trees can be downloaded by the link provided at the top of this post.

After the Import

The most impressing thing about the import are the parks. While it can get a bit confusing, the many green dots give a good idea of the tree cover.

Trees in the Stadtpark

Trees in the Stadtpark

Another significant display of the imported trees is their position besides streets:

Trees along Streets

Trees along Streets in the “Cottageviertel”

The display of trees should provide the reader of the map a more thorough impression of the area he is looking for. But this might also just be too much information and make the map less readable. This is open to debate.

Interestingly, the linear structure of the imported trees can be used to detect poorly mapped streets. This is the case when e.g. a row of trees crosses the actual street which is only true in rare cases.

Poorely mapped streets exposed by the OGD tree cadastre

Poorely mapped streets exposed by the OGD tree cadastre

Next Steps

What has yet to be performed is the conflation of attributes of already mapped trees with the OGD cadastre of trees. On problem that arises here is that the provided reference number for trees is not unique. Maybe it never was intended to be unique or the data provided does not contain all information necessary. Either way, one has to perform an additional search by location to distinctly identify a tree.

Also, the OGD cadastre of trees is constantly changing because trees are removed or new ones are planted. So it makes sense to think about a method to automatically keep the OSM trees up to date with the OGD cadastre of trees.

OGD Vienna Preview

If you ever want to simply preview any of the data released by the city of Vienna by their Open Government Data initiative on top of an OpenStreetMap layer, you now can do so.

I present the “OGD Wien Preview and Matcher”. It can be accessed by http://www.gisforge.com/ogdmatcher .

Title Screen of the OGD Wien Preview and Matcher, version 1

Title Screen of the OGD Wien Preview and Matcher, version 1

With this web application it is possible to display any spatial dataset available on the servers of OGD Vienna. The list which displays the datasets is generated automatically each time the application is accessed. So, it always reflects the current state. Also, only when selecting a specific set of data, it is loaded from the OGD source. The downside of this method is that there is a slight delay while waiting for the chosen dataset to arrive. But on the other hand, it is not necessary to store this data anywhere. Additionally to that, the displayed information is always the most recent one.

At this moment information is displayed by entities filled only with yellow colour and black border. When too many points are displayed at once, they are grouped together. Line and polygon features are always displayed as they are. When clicking on a feature all information associated with it is visualized. It has to be mentioned that because of the experimental nature of the methods used to construct this application, umlauts are not encoded.

A possibility to compare point datasets from OGD Vienna with a copy of OpenStreetMap data is given. Due to the bad performance of the server the procedure of comparison runs very slow and is not of much use until now.

The web application has a problem with Microsoft Internet Explorer that I yet have to track down. While data is loaded with this browser, it takes for ever to process its display on the map.