OSMnx: New Methods for Acquiring, Constructing, Analyzing, and Visualizing Complex Street Networks

Cite as: Boeing, G. 2016. “OSMnx: New Methods for Acquiring, Constructing, Analyzing, and Visualizing Complex Street Networks.” Manuscript under review. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2865501

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Abstract

Urban scholars have studied street networks in many ways. However, there are some limitations to the current urban planning/street network analysis literature. To address these challenges, this paper presents OSMnx, a new tool to make the collection of data and creation and analysis of street networks simple, consistent, automatable and sound from the perspectives of graph theory, transportation, and urban design. OSMnx contributes five new capabilities for urban researchers and practitioners: first, the automated downloading of administrative place boundaries and shapefiles; second, the tailored and automated downloading and constructing of street networks from OpenStreetMap; third, the algorithmic correction and simplification of network topology; fourth, the ability to save street networks to disk as shapefiles, GraphML, or SVG files; and fifth, the ability to analyze street networks, calculate routes, project and visualize networks, and calculate metric and topological measures. These measures include those common in urban design and transportation studies, as well as advanced measures of the structure and topology of the network. Finally it presents a simple case study using OSMnx to construct and analyze street networks in Portland, Oregon.