MethOSM: a methodology for computing composite indicators derived from OpenStreetMap data


  • Dumitru Roman
  • Tatiana Tarasova
  • Javier Paniagua


composite indicators, indices, OpenStreetMap, OSM, methodology, data quality


The task of computing composite indicators to define and analyze complex social, economic, political, or environmental phenomena has traditionally been the exclusive competence of statistical offices. Nowadays, the availability of increasing volumes of data and the emergence of the open data movement have enabled individuals and businesses affordable access to all kinds of datasets that can be used as valuable input to compute indicators. OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a good example of this. It has been used as a baseline to compute indicators in areas where official data is scarce or difficult to access. Although the extraction and application of OSM data to compute indicators is an attractive proposition, this practice is by no means hassle-free. The use of OSM reveals a number of challenges that are usually addressed with ad-hoc and often overlapping solutions. In this context, this paper proposes MethOSM-a systematic methodology for computing indicators derived from OSM data. By applying MethOSM, the computation task is divided into four steps, with each step having a clear goal and a set of guidelines to apply. In this way, the methodology contributes to an effective and efficient use of OSM data for the purpose of computing indicators. To demonstrate its use, we apply MethOSM to a number of indicators used for real estate valuation of properties in Italy.