diploma thesis: routing in consideration of the traffic density


I would like to write a diploma thesis about routing in consideration of the traffic density.
For this i thought to use openstreetmap as the database for the geographical information and as the database to analyse the
traffic density.

In a nutshell: I will analyse the diffenent gps-tracks between nodes to calculate the average time the persons
need from one node to the other dependent of the time of day. For example: there is a person who needs
30 min from node A to node B at 17 o’clock. Another person needs for the same distance 20 min at 17:20. In the routing program
i will start to travel at 16 o’clock so the routing software calculates that i reach the lane A-B at 17:10.
Now the routing software interpolates the time costs from 17:00 and 17:20 and get a time cost about 25 min.

Now i have two questions about openstreetmap, and i hope anybody can anwer this:

  1. Though the api it’s possible to get all the gps-tracks for a region. The tracks contains lon and lat, but no
    time information when the trackpoints were generated from the gps-receiver. I need the time information to
    calculate the time costs, is it possible to get them in some way?

  2. In openstreetmap will the gps-tracks be stored permanently, or will they removed when the region is complete mapped and there is no
    more use for them?

Thank’s for help



You can download the raw tracks (with timestamps) and search by tag.

Personally, I don’t think the tracks are going to be very good for your purpose for three reasons:

  • Mappers move probably slower when trying to map an area.
  • You don’t know how a mapper traveled, they can drive on a road by car or on a bicycle, but unless you know the physical and traffic density beforehand you won’t be able to tell for sure what made the track.
  • Also tracks can be old and not represent the current traffic flow

But that’s something you can study in your thesis.

First thanks for your help and your personal opinion

Yes, but i think that can be filtered with vehicel characteristics, for example speed maximas or ways that can’t pass by a car.

Yes, i have to study how fast the traffic flow changes in the past years.

Well, if those are no show stoppers for you then hope you will be able a succeed and deliver a useful thesis. Will you report back e.g. when finished? Anyway, good luck!