Loading OpenStreetMap amenity data into R

extract-amenities is a script for extracting amenities from an OpenStreetMap data export. The script writes the amenity data into three tab-separated text files; one for nodes, one for ways, and one for relation map elements. Here we illustrate how to load these files into R, and how to make some simple analyses. The extract-amenities script can run on various OSM export files. Below, the output is shown for the full planet export from 10.8.2015 (67 GB as a .osm.bz2 format, MD5 checksum d2a64c0f3c80daf73d5b4ea54ac47f6b). This export includes version data and deleted entries, and for this input file, the exported amenities take around 1.2 GB.

The R code for this analysis is available on Github.

Loading the amenity data

Most of the R code for this analysis is contained in the two files loaded below.


Then, after running extract-amenities on an OSM input file (see above), the extracted amenity data can be loaded into R as follows:

osmdir <- "~/osm-data/amenities-output-history-150810/"
amenities <- load_amenities_cached(osmdir)

To speed up repeated loadings, the above command will only parse the files the first time and then cache the result for repeated calls. To force a reparse, one needs to delete the file amenities.cache in the directory passed to the function.

Column structure

The extracted amenities are now loaded into the amenities data frame and contains 20093735 rows and 9 columns. The first few rows read:

kable(add_osm_links(head(amenities, 10)), format = 'markdown')
id version visible sec1970 pos1 pos2 amenity_type name type
1 11 TRUE 1359944817 -31.638757 -60.693853 restaurant 3390 Restó node
1 12 FALSE 1389141228         node
1 13 TRUE 1432502726 48.566985 13.4465242     node
19 2 TRUE 1278489078 51.9458753 -0.20698 post_box   node
19 3 TRUE 1354019926 51.9458753 -0.20698 post_box   node
22 2 TRUE 1278491712 51.938183 -0.268633 post_box   node
22 3 TRUE 1278518946 51.938183 -0.268633 post_box   node
22 4 TRUE 1280613203 51.938183 -0.268633 post_box   node
22 5 TRUE 1340530437 51.938183 -0.268633 post_box   node
26 2 TRUE 1278491713 51.93021 -0.274278 post_box   node

The type column can take values node, way and relation. The other columns are as in the output format of the extract-amenities script described here. The position columns (pos1 and pos2) are stored as strings to avoid changing the data). Since R only supports 32-bit integers natively (!), the id-column is stored as a string, see this link.

Each row represents one version of a map element. Typically, one is most interested in the latest (and possibly the first) version of an element. The flatten_entries function extracts information from these versions:

flat_amenities <- flatten_elements(amenities)

The column structure for this new data frame can be seen from the first few rows:

kable(add_osm_links(head(flat_amenities, 10)), format = 'markdown')
id last_version last_is_visible sec1970A sec1970B type last_pos1 last_pos2 last_amenity_type last_name
1 13 TRUE 1359944817 1432502726 node 48.566985 13.4465242    
100 8 TRUE 1199661283 1414851569 node 52.8916184 10.8340913    
100000039 1 TRUE 1297854038 1297854038 way 1156219743 NA parking  
100000049 1 TRUE 1297854041 1297854041 way 1156219772 NA parking  
100000091 2 TRUE 1297854074 1332411646 way 1156220768 NA kindergarten Детский сад № 127
100000092 2 TRUE 1297854074 1332411659 way 1156220806 NA school Школа № 124
100000150 2 FALSE 1297854083 1298322603 way NA NA    
100000158 4 TRUE 1297854084 1332155847 way 1156220603 NA    
100000193 4 TRUE 1297855531 1342425862 way 1156222358 NA kindergarten Д.с. №135
100000206 4 TRUE 1297855532 1317371028 way 1156222760 NA kindergarten Д.с. №151

Let us recall that a map element is extracted if it has an amenity=..-tag, or if a previous version of the element has an amenity=.. tag. The last_is_visible-column indicates whether the last version is visible or if it is (currently) deleted. The sec1970A and sec1970B-columns store the values of the sec1970-column for the first and last versions. The other columns should be self-explanatory.

The below table summarizes the loaded data:

kable(amenity_summary(amenities), align = rep("r", 4), format = 'markdown')
  Nodes Ways Relations Total
number_of_extracted_versions 12797866 7205426 90443 20093735
unique_map_elements 6578046 3750026 48875 10376947
currently_visible 5360774 3467733 41077 8869584
currently_deleted 1217272 282293 7798 1507363
unique_amenity_types 18608 7527 439 22994

The first and last timestamps are 2006-03-22 and 2015-08-10.


Below are some examples illustrating how to work with the extracted amenity data in R.

Growth plots

Let us first plot the growth of amenity elements. To do this, we select those map elements from flat_amenities whose latest version is tagged as an amenity and is not deleted. The below plot shows the growth of these entries as a function of the date they were (first) tagged as an amenity. [Since tags can be added, changed and removed, this is not necessarily the same as the element creation date.]


In terms of monthly growth we obtain the following (log-scale) graph showing the age profile:


From the graphs one can see a number of vertical regions. Such jumps should be expected due to database imports. The first plot is similar (with the jump in 2009) to the plot of total accumulated map elements on the OSM wiki. Note, however, that the above plots only include elements in the current OSM map (as of 8/2015). For example, the plots would not include amenities that were added in 2010 and deleted in 2012.

Longest unmodified map elements

The below query (written using dplyr) finds those ten map elements that have not been modified for the longest time. This is computed from the same data as for the above growth graph (from flat_amenities).

oldest_live <- flat_amenities %>%
                   filter(last_is_visible == TRUE,
                          last_amenity_type != "") %>%
                   arrange(sec1970B) %>%
                   mutate(last_edit = from_epoch(sec1970B)) %>%
                          -last_is_visible) %>%
                   filter(row_number() <= 10)

kable(add_osm_links(oldest_live), format = 'markdown')
id last_version type last_pos1 last_pos2 last_amenity_type last_name last_edit
3596840 1 node 53.4576282 -2.2189334 post_box   2006-05-15
4156519 1 node 52.1419264 -0.4684423 pub The Balloon 2006-05-18
5045684 1 node 52.0821249 -0.3401749 pub The Hare and Hounds 2006-05-21
5660444 1 node 51.8061523 -1.5071322 pub The Lamb Inn 2006-05-24
6536944 1 node 52.2259307 -0.5493192 park   2006-05-28
6935592 1 node 52.1502062 -0.4279931 post_box   2006-05-31
6975394 1 node 52.5960486 -1.8509703 school Four Oaks Infant School 2006-05-31
6975396 1 node 52.5958248 -1.8517669 school Four Oaks Junior School 2006-05-31
6977397 1 node 52.5949376 -1.8482409 telephone   2006-05-31
7045191 1 node 52.1460015 -0.4201123 post_box   2006-06-01

All these entries have last_version=1. Therefore the sec1970A column is dropped, and the column sec1970B is reformatted and relabeled into the more readable last_edit column.

Top-50 amenity tags

The counts of the most popular amenity tags are shown below. An interactive version of this table (that includes all amenities) is available on the OSM taginfo website.

plot_top_amenities(flat_amenities, 50)

OSM License

The above analysis is based from the OpenStreetMap project, (c) OpenStreetMap contributors. The OSM data is available under the ODbL. The code for this analysis is available is available here (under the MIT license).