Map of Openstreetmap authors in Germany

I am just getting to know the Openstreetmap data and playing around with the most basic elements and attributes. Using the user and coordinate data of all nodes, I set up a graphic that divides Germany into 100 km^2 squares, counts the number of nodes and colours the dots (of size dependent on the number of nodes found here) according to the number of users that contributed at least 50 per cent to the nodes in this square. When you load the SVG you may be able to read the user contributing most in that area by mouseover.


The following observations must be made:

  • Small red dots at the borders are artifacts. Here the squares contain only small areas and we shouldn't be too surprised to see few nodes and contributing users.
  • Don't take these statistics seriously. As soon as someone does, you'll find somebody else manipulating them, and they are easily manipulated.
  • This graphic may not reflect the current mapping activity. Some of the authors may long have abandoned OSM.
  • The greatest density of nodes is found where people have started to map buildings as areas (Dresden, Gelsenkirchen/Gladbeck). But only few users seem to be that determined, the largest blobs are not the ones with most users.
  • There are obviously few nodes where few people live: from left to right Emsland, Wendland, Altmark, Uckermark. Few features to map and few users.
  • Some areas are filled with many nodes by relatively few users. The most striking example is Unterlausitz, but also Magdeburg.
  • I would expect to see the red dot northeast of Augsburg vanish soon. Busy mappers not too far away.
  • Is it correct to note that holiday areas (Baltic coast, Allgäu) are mapped by more users than other rural areas?
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