Mapping of Gas Transport Pipelines

Mapping of European Gas Transport Data

Dear OSM Mapping Community,

I am a scientist of a german research center (DLR).
Within our current open source project we want to extract the topology of the european gas data vom OSM.

I have made some maps of the existing gas transport data from OSM including

gas pipelines
compressors stations
lng terminals

A comparison with data from different source show that there a big data gaps in OSM

For instance, in Germany only ~15 % of all gas transport pipelines are mapped in OSM.
(Spain 90%, France 75%, Italy 7%)

To improve the current situation I work on providing:

Maps of the current OSM gas transport data
Open source gas transport data
A collection of Pipeline maps from other sources

Hopefully, this data can help to indentify current data gaps and verify existing data.

Some of the material will be provided in the near future under our project website:

For more data and quicker access, you can contact me.

Welcome to OSM!

The reasons why gas pipeline coverage in OSM is lacking are:

(1) With very few exceptions, we only map what we can verify on the ground. We don’t map a gas pipeline that we cannot see just because it is supposed to be there according to some other pipeline map (even if that pipeline map was not copyrighted). Now gas pipelines tend to be accompanied by overground tell-tale signs that can be surveyed but it takes some expert knowledge to do that.

(2) OSM does occasionally get complaints and sometimes even legal threats from operators of distribution networks because they believe that their infrastructure is critical for public safety and hence access to this information must be controlled. For example, we had deletion requests from a number of German public utilities regarding our mapping of hydrants, as well as legal threats from a Dutch operator of an oil pipeline.


Hello Frederik,

Thank you for your fast response. I am not suggesting to map gas pipelines only based on other (open source) maps, because the existing open source maps have a lack of accuracy. However, they could assist in the finding of pipeline marker, compressor stations and LNG terminals and could also be used to clean up some of the existing data and metadata.

This would be very helpful for our project.

I am very interested in the background of gas pipeline mapping in OSM, for example:

  1. What was the methodology for the current gas pipeline data in OSM?
  2. I would also be interested, why the Spanish gas pipeline data are nearly complete
    whereas the German data are not?
  3. Have you ever heard from a case where there were also legal complains associated with the transport network?

We are currently working on a satellite based method to identify the exact positions of gas transport pipelines and will probably release the data-set under an open source license in about a year. What would be the legal constraints for you to implement such a data set and are there any other concerns?