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31 July 2012, 16:30

OpenStreetMap study shows around 192,000 active users

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OpenStreetMap logo Fewer than half of all registered OpenStreetMap (OSM) users have contributed to the open source project's mapping data according to a new study by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Of the mapping platform's 500,000 registered members, approximately 38% had contributed data at least once. The study, which examined activity of registered OSM users up to December 2011, found that more than 24,000 users (about 5% of the total) had contributed at least 1,000 edited nodes.

The researchers also concluded that only a small number of active users were likely to contribute data to the platform in the long term. The majority of members were particularly active for the first three months after registering with the project, after which their commitment typically declined. The study found that approximately 2,000 users contribute to the project each day, while 6,500 and 17,500 members contribute each week and month respectively. The volumes are relatively constant during the week, with a slight spike on Sundays.

Zoom The study found that most registered members never make edits
Source: MDPI
The researchers found that the geographical distribution of active users was relatively clear: 72% of users who had contributed data to the project at least once were from Europe. North America came a distant second at 12%, followed by Asia (8%), South America (3%), Australia (2%), Africa (2%) and Oceania (1%).

Further information can be found in the 20 page study entitled "Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project – The Case of OpenStreetMapPDF".

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