An earlier post looked at how to extract shapefile data from Open Street Map.
This is very useful for collecting data that is not provided easily in the public realm, although caution must be taken when deciding if the data is complete. One case where I needed a shapefile for a project, and I was very certain that set would be complete, is that of open spaces in London.
This was achieved by searching the features database and locating any key:value pairs of interest. These were the following:
- Landuse: Cemetery, clearing, conservation, forest, garden, grass, meadow, nature reserve, park, recreation ground, recreational, sport, village green and wood.
- Leisure: Sports centre, golf course, common, pitch and playground
- Natural: Grass, grassland and woodland
This was probably a few too many features, so some were removed after a comparison with OSM to see what I had and had not captured.
Also, from these selections, I decided to create two layers; an open space (everything that does not require payment/membership to enter) and green spaces (everything). Furthermore, I separated these into open access and private access by searching for the tags access=yes and access=private in the ‘other’ field of the shapefile.