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Visualizing OSM Logs

OpenStreetMap now provides public access to the access logs of their tile map server from 2014 until today, in the form of simple log statistics files. What can logging the usage of the standard map over time tell us about our cities?

Challenge

In October 2014, when looking at osm.org, Geometa Lab was inspired to leverage OpenStreetMap by logging the usage of the standard map. Since the standard map is delivered by a tiled service, they wanted to explore how feasible it is to collect and prepare the log files. They also wanted to analyze the data by visualizing it over time.

Solution

Geometa Lab downloaded access logs from the OSM server, then parsed them with Bash and Python. They visualized the data in CARTO as a heatmap, and performed some spatio-temporal data analysis for the greater Zurich area by animating the data over time using Torque.

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