The OpenStreetMap folksonomy and its evolution

Franz-Benjamin Mocnik*, Alexander Zipf, Martin Raifer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The comprehension of folksonomies is of high importance when making sense of Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), in particular in the case of OpenStreetMap (OSM). So far, only little research has been conducted to understand the role and the evolution of folksonomies in VGI and OSM, which is despite the fact that without a comprehension of the folksonomies the thematic dimension of data can hardly be used. This article examines the history of the OSM folksonomy, with the aim to predict its future evolution. In particular, we explore how the documentation of the OSM folksonomy relates to its actual use in the data, and we investigate the historical and future scope and granularity of the folksonomy. Finally, a visualization technique is proposed to examine the folksonomy in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
JournalGeo-spatial information science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolution
  • Folksonomy
  • Granularity
  • OpenStreetMap (OSM)
  • Taxonomy
  • Visualization
  • Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)


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