When I look out from my window….

From my house I can see a dolmen, about 25 metres away.  Not one from the early Neolithic period unfortunately, but a stone replica placed in the centre of a roundabout at a shopping centre.  I walk past it nearly every day and often wondered about it as a structure/sculpture.  Previously I had viewed it on Google Street View and mapstreetview.com

I recently discovered OpenStreetMap and decided to investigate it in more detail as it appeared to me quite interesting and I had not known much about it.  I created an account and after learning some basics of adding points, lines and areas, I started to add a few of my own contributions. 

I added a description of the dolmen, placed the nearest bus-stop, closed off a road that should have been a cul-de-sac, mapped out a service entrance to the shopping centre, plus a few more minor details.  In the future I hope to add more detail.  I understand there was a river running past my house many years ago, but now it is no more than a sewer.  There used to be a natural spring well just across the road, but that has since been tapped and added to the shopping centre’s water reservoir. 

My area appears not to have had much input or editing for some time, especially judging by how out-of-date local businesses and bus routes are still visible on the map.  There are other areas apart from my own residential area that I would like to investigate since I would know them well, and I expect some additional information to the database on OpenStreetMap will be helpful and interesting.  I noticed there is a forum where contributors can ‘compare notes’ and I might join that later.  Expect this post to be updated in the not-too-distant future.  It is certainly a project I would enjoy.

I conducted a little research into user-generated street maps and found there was a wealth of information, so using skills I recently learnt on the course I did a practice-run on evaluation of sources and compiled an archive of over a dozen useful articles and presentations.  The data collected is shown below.

An aerial view of my area:

OpenStreetMap of Mahon Point

The Dolman at Mahon Point
The ‘Dolmen’ at Mahon Point
Mahon Point Shopping Centre
Mahon Point Shopping Centre

Open Street Map Research:

Ballatore, A., Bertolotto, M. & Wilson, D.C. Knowledge and Information Systems, 37 (1): 61-81. ‘Geographic Knowledge Extraction and Semantic Similarity in OpenStreetMap’.  Research Repository UCD, Springer, Dublin, 2014. https://researchrepository.ucd.ie/handle/10197/3973

Barron, Christopher, Pascal Neis, and Alexander Zipf. “A Comprehensive Framework for Intrinsic OpenStreetMap Quality Analysis.” Transactions in GIS, vol. 18, no. 6, 2014, pp. 877-895. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tgis.12073

Budhathoki, Nama R., and Caroline Haythornthwaite. “Motivation for Open Collaboration: Crowd and Community Models and the Case of OpenStreetMap.” American Behavioral Scientist, vol. 57, no. 5, May 2013, pp. 548–575, doi:10.1177/0002764212469364. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0002764212469364

Chilton, Steve, Crowdsourcing is radically changing the geodata landscape: case study of OpenStreetMap, Middlesex University, 30 July 2009. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Cipełuch, Błażej and Jacob, Ricky and Mooney, Peter and Winstanley, Adam C.  Comparison of the accuracy of OpenStreetMap for Ireland with Google Maps and Bing Maps. Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 20-23rd July 2010. p. 337. http://eprints.maynoothuniversity.ie/2476/1/Accuracy2010-Ciepluch-Submitted.pdf

Haklay, Mordechai. “How Good Is Volunteered Geographical Information? A Comparative Study of OpenStreetMap and Ordnance Survey Datasets.” Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, vol. 37, no. 4, Aug. 2010, pp. 682–703, doi:10.1068/b35097. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1068/b35097

Haklay, M., and P. Weber. “OpenStreetMap: User-Generated Street Maps.” IEEE Pervasive Computing, vol. 7, no. 4, 2008, pp. 12-18. http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/13849/1/13849.pdf

Haklay Muki and Budhathoki, Nama, “OpenStreetMap – Overview and Motivational Factors”, Horizon Infrastructure Challenge Theme Day, the University of Nottingham, UK March 19, 2010. https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/Horizon20March2010(HaklayandBudhahtoki).pdf

Mooney, Peter, and Padraig Corcoran. “The Annotation Process in OpenStreetMap.” Transactions in GIS, vol. 16, no. 4, 2012, pp. 561-579. https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.ucc.idm.oclc.org/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-9671.2012.01306.x

Neis, Pascal, and Alexander Zipf. “Analyzing the Contributor Activity of a Volunteered Geographic Information Project — The Case of OpenStreetMap.” ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 1.2 (2012): 146–165. Crossref. Web. https://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/1/2/146/htm

Neis, Pascal, and Dennis Zielstra. “Recent Developments and Future Trends in Volunteered Geographic Information Research: The Case of OpenStreetMap.” Future Internet 6.1 (2014): 76–106. Crossref. Web. https://www.mdpi.com/1999-5903/6/1/76/pdf

Luxen, Dennis, and Vetter Christian. “Real-time routing with OpenStreetMap data”. GIS ’11 Proceedings of the 19th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems, pages 513-516.  Chicago, Illinois. November 01 – 04, 2011. https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2094062

Quinn, Sterling. “Using Small Cities to Understand the Crowd Behind OpenStreetMap.” GeoJournal 82.3 (2017): 455-73. ProQuest. 27 Dec. 2018. https://search-proquest-com.ucc.idm.oclc.org/docview/1899818216/93FA841355E641F7PQ/1?accountid=14504

Additional Resources:

Open Street Map Blog


Wikipedia definition of Dolmen



Paul · January 8, 2019 at 9:28 pm

I actually measured the exact distance via gps – 23 metres.

A stone’s throw away…

Toyah · January 14, 2019 at 1:37 am

Lay-lines cross there possibly?
A river was close by with a well as well 🙂
Maybe a spring…

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