# The World's biggest benches, according to OSM

It all started to simple, I thought I’d have a look at the biggest islands in OSM, but then I went down a bit of a rabbit hole.

The World's biggest islands, according to OSM (place=island)
Object Name Area
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/7662545 Greenland 2.00 megameter²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3986076 New Guinea 784659.25 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3986083 Borneo 734766.84 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/3957497 Baffin Island 519333.26 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/8882668 Sumatra 431640.45 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/6677259 Honshu 223182.92 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Victoria Island‬ (‪5857216‬) | OpenStreetMap Victoria Island 215938.68 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/6038068 Great Britain 212939.36 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/1656492 Ellesmere Island 207799.49 kilometer²

Comparing the list with Wikipedia, it’s exactly the same. The exact area is a bit different - Wikipedia gives the area of Greenland as 2.166 million km² whereas Geodesk is giving me 2.00 million km². There are all sorts of possible reasons for this, I haven’t looked into it further. But it’s good enough for me, at least the order is the same.

I compared the top 100 islands in OSM with the top 100 islands in the world according to Wikipedia and I only found one missing in our data. It was mapped, but it was missing the `place=island` tag. That’s a quick fix.

The Python package I am using for printing units says the area of Greenland is 2 megametres². I suppose that’s technically not wrong. I might even start saying this!

Let’s look at something else.

The World's biggest historic ships, according to OSM (historic=ship)

That’s a bunch of big boats. The biggest an aircraft carrier the size of two Manhattan city blocks. That’s pretty cool.

The World's biggest flowerbeds, according to OSM (landuse=flowerbed)
Object Name Area
Way: 1118653734 | OpenStreetMap Sea of Flowers 349217.04 meter²
Way: ‪Sere Sînpetru‬ (‪38143512‬) | OpenStreetMap Sere Sînpetru 338457.25 meter²
Way: ‪Parc Daniel Bernardet‬ (‪187629741‬) | OpenStreetMap Parc Daniel Bernardet 334423.92 meter²
Way: 76909897 | OpenStreetMap None 205707.34 meter²
Way: 1111590473 | OpenStreetMap None 148362.51 meter²
Way: 1052601031 | OpenStreetMap None 106489.11 meter²
Way: 1087067280 | OpenStreetMap None 101537.26 meter²
Way: 1156117971 | OpenStreetMap None 80204.13 meter²
Way: 727363602 | OpenStreetMap None 76271.06 meter²
Way: 1214753344 | OpenStreetMap None 62539.05 meter²

The Sea of Flowers sounds rather more appealing than it looks in aerial imagery! Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt, the photo must have been taken in the winter.

The World's biggest car parks, according to OSM (amenity=parking)
Object Name Area
Way: ‪Parking Company of America‬ (‪723528809‬) | OpenStreetMap Parking Company of America 120.86 kilometer²
Way: ‪حجز سيارات البهيتة‬ (‪1093407868‬) | OpenStreetMap حجز سيارات البهيتة 2.17 kilometer²
Way: 689535061 | OpenStreetMap None 1.34 kilometer²
Way: 311151534 | OpenStreetMap None 1.12 kilometer²
Way: 1207281476 | OpenStreetMap None 1.04 kilometer²
Way: ‪پارکینگ ایران خودرو تبریز‬ (‪308975245‬) | OpenStreetMap پارکینگ ایران خودرو تبریز 959436.41 meter²
Way: 759170610 | OpenStreetMap None 878834.74 meter²
Way: 839654128 | OpenStreetMap None 875325.72 meter²
Way: ‪Lot 10‬ (‪350688537‬) | OpenStreetMap Lot 10 860765.16 meter²
Way: 547984709 | OpenStreetMap None 832782.17 meter²

Huh? Some big car parks (e.g. at an Audi factory in Mexico) and some objects that are definitely not car parks. I wonder if there’s an issue with the Arabic translation of the `amenity=parking` preset? Because a lot of these probably-not-car-parks are in Saudia Arabia.

The World's biggest buildings, according to OSM (building=*)
Object Name Area
Way: 1256620877 | OpenStreetMap None 24315.37 kilometer²
Way: 1249632822 | OpenStreetMap None 49.65 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Mulshi Lake‬ (‪1898752‬) | OpenStreetMap Mulshi Lake 37.83 kilometer²
Relation: 1303420 | OpenStreetMap None 21.38 kilometer²
Way: ‪Nam Neun 1 Hydropower Project‬ (‪1250980010‬) | OpenStreetMap Nam Neun 1 Hydropower Project 9.75 kilometer²
Way: 1258417341 | OpenStreetMap None 6.61 kilometer²
Way: 1258241451 | OpenStreetMap None 5.27 kilometer²
Way: 289090029 | OpenStreetMap None 3.86 kilometer²
Way: 301773376 | OpenStreetMap None 2.75 kilometer²
Way: ‪宏兴钢铁‬ (‪1210907477‬) | OpenStreetMap 宏兴钢铁 2.32 kilometer²

The World’s biggest building is a rectangle in the ocean, south west of Australia and four fifths the size of Belgium. Got it.

The World's biggest trees, according to OSM (natural=tree)

A common typo for `natural=wood`?

The World's biggest village greens, according to OSM (landuse=village_green)
Object Name Area
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1117117014 Kapkembu sublocation 39.16 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/137189252 Desa Oi Bura 35.82 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/723564216 Serra do Mulungu 29.40 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1117117035 Chepakundi sublocation 25.67 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1116839456 Kiungone location 23.47 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1117117022 Kiptagich sub location 22.29 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/706495929 Assentamento Madre Terra 21.91 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/656744927 Assentamento Itaguaçu 20.36 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1116839454 Chure location 20.33 kilometer²
https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/1117117033 Amalo sublocation 20.07 kilometer²

The most surprising thing is that some of these have been around for 10 years or more and no one has noticed them!

The World's biggest benches, according to OSM (amenity=bench)

Anyone up for cleaning these up? How do we even get started? Are there validators with warnings like “that’s an unusual size for an object of this type”?

By the way, if anyone is interested in other tags, I’d be happy to run my script with them.

33 Likes

This is fantastic!

If you can set up your script to do this it might be good to link to the current version like: https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/297432501/history/4 That way the links will stay relevant as the cleanup happens.

5 Likes

Hey, I know that one! I used to consistently tag bleachers and grandstands as `amenity=bench` before we had `leisure=bleachers` and `building=grandstand`, respectively. Figured it was easier than micromapping each individual bench in the stands. Even as a grandstand, it would be one of the larger ones.

By the way, you should also do a separate “World’s smallest” thread. Sooner or later you’ll turn up something worth submitting to the Guiness Book of World Records.

4 Likes

Stellar work! “top lists” is an excellent way of finding questionable data.

I have a feeling `natural=water` may turn up some questionable lakes, though maybe a bit further down than the top 10.

2 Likes

Put those big benches in a stadium and you can upgrade those grandstands to grandseats

1 Like

Glad to see you’re also adopting the size of Belgium as a unit of measurement! Although a tad unconventional, you’re not the only one using it; see The Size Of Belgium

7 Likes

Indeed; Wales is of course the standard here.

2 Likes

It is !

But since we never know if the data has been mapped on purpose one should always ask the mapper if the edit was intentionally.
Maybe it’s an idea to send a automatically generated “question” to the mapper?

“You sure this 55 km² tree is what you want?”

1 Like

Cleaned up that area of plenty of benches

1 Like

I’ve cleaned up several of the largest buildings and the biggest car park.
Thanks for compiling this list, awesome!

4 Likes

…gone as well, as a `landuse=construction` instead of `building=industrial`.

1 Like

Just skimming through some of the top tags with over a million ways, some interesting ones might be:

• `landuse=farmland`
• `amenity=parking_space`
• `leisure=swimming_pool`
• `leisure=park`
• `leisure=garden`

And if you can do linear distance instead of area:

• `highway=footway`
• `highway=steps`
• (Really, probably most of the `highway=` values might be interesting)
• `service=driveway`
• `barrier=fence`
• `barrier=wall`
• `bridge=*`
• `tunnel=culvert`
• `natural=tree_row`

Just brainstorming because you asked; I personally probably wouldn’t be doing anything with the data.

4 Likes

Great idea, looking for unusual sizes unearths a ton of anomalous features. There are loads of tiny “houses” that in reality are sheds or garages (or massive industrial buildings at the other size extreme). I’ve also seen ping-pong tables tagged as `sport=tennis`, which then erroneously show up as “tennis courts.” Likewise, some super-sized “swimming pools” reveal themselves to be swimmable lakes or aquatic centers (with multiple individual pools).

Inspired by this thread, I implemented 4 new filters in GeoDesk for Python, which select features based on their minimum/maximum area or length. These are now part of Version 0.1.10 (`pip install geodesk -U`).

So, for the houses example above, you can use:

``````world("a[building=house]").max_area(35).map.show()
``````

The maximum value is specified in (square) meters, but you can also specify an explicit unit (feet, miles, etc.), e.g. `max_area(feet=300)`

If you want to be able to navigate to the current object on OSM when you click on a marked feature, add a `link` attribute to `map`, like this:

``````.map(link="https://www.osm.org/{osm_type}/{id}").show()
``````

Or, to open features directly in the iD editor:

``````.map(link="https://www.osm.org/edit?{osm_type}={id}").show()
``````
6 Likes

I tidied up “building:levels”=“222222” earlier.

3 Likes

Thanks, that’s very cool. It was Geodesk that inspired me to make this list, because it’s so easy to iterate over features and calculate their area.

I did the above just for fun but if we find any systematic errors that are easy to correct from aerial imagery, then we could create Maproulette challenges similar to how TomTom does it for unusually small features.

Good idea, unfortunately I can’t create such a permanent link programmatically because I don’t have the object version number. They get thrown out when the planet files are converted into GOL files for use with Geodesk.

The World's biggest areas of farmland
Object Name Area
Relation: 3030972 | OpenStreetMap None 10239.08 kilometer²
Relation: 13249753 | OpenStreetMap None 8786.77 kilometer²
Relation: 16632214 | OpenStreetMap None 7959.01 kilometer²
Relation: 12629505 | OpenStreetMap None 7761.84 kilometer²
Way: ‪Beetaloo‬ (‪844465251‬) | OpenStreetMap Beetaloo 7222.46 kilometer²
Relation: 14093640 | OpenStreetMap None 6949.81 kilometer²
Relation: ‪CORFO‬ (‪11171108‬) | OpenStreetMap CORFO 6046.61 kilometer²
Relation: 1299215 | OpenStreetMap None 3527.62 kilometer²
Way: 170433407 | OpenStreetMap None 3409.70 kilometer²
Relation: 2880905 | OpenStreetMap None 3200.33 kilometer²

The no. 1 is half the size of Wales (sorry Belgium!)

The World's biggest parking spaces
Object Name Area
Way: ‪Springview Estates‬ (‪1119870531‬) | OpenStreetMap Springview Estates 158341.07 meter²
Way: ‪شرکت حمل و نقل سیمان دلیجان‬ (‪514017924‬) | OpenStreetMap شرکت حمل و نقل سیمان دلیجان 119812.60 meter²
Way: 206766430 | OpenStreetMap None 90541.72 meter²
Way: 1119414725 | OpenStreetMap None 51381.61 meter²
Way: 206766375 | OpenStreetMap None 48943.20 meter²
Way: 1231199807 | OpenStreetMap None 46205.45 meter²
Way: 1156940040 | OpenStreetMap None 45369.29 meter²
Way: 304049083 | OpenStreetMap None 43442.71 meter²
Way: 410545295 | OpenStreetMap None 41878.33 meter²
Way: 1162510621 | OpenStreetMap None 41357.09 meter²

Looks like most of these should be `parking` or `depot`?

The World's biggest swimming pools
The World's biggest parks
Object Name Area
Relation: ‪Wood-Tikchik State Park‬ (‪16124756‬) | OpenStreetMap Wood-Tikchik State Park 6333.31 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Woodland Caribou Provincial Park‬ (‪15401045‬) | OpenStreetMap Woodland Caribou Provincial Park 4727.42 kilometer²
Relation: ‪East Bay Bird Sanctuary‬ (‪6209831‬) | OpenStreetMap East Bay Bird Sanctuary 1021.11 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Harry Gibbons Bird Sanctuary‬ (‪6209832‬) | OpenStreetMap Harry Gibbons Bird Sanctuary 978.96 kilometer²
Way: ‪Wilderness Safaris Private Concession‬ (‪858696197‬) | OpenStreetMap Wilderness Safaris Private Concession 542.72 kilometer²
Way: ‪Шалқар-Имантау демалыс аймағы‬ (‪1107898028‬) | OpenStreetMap Шалқар-Имантау демалыс аймағы 470.72 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Guadalupe Mountains National Park‬ (‪16101717‬) | OpenStreetMap Guadalupe Mountains National Park 353.91 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Bear Creek Recreation Site‬ (‪2240581‬) | OpenStreetMap Bear Creek Recreation Site 344.42 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Honobia Creek Wildlife Management Area‬ (‪14180197‬) | OpenStreetMap Honobia Creek Wildlife Management Area 252.97 kilometer²
Way: ‪الحديقة الوطنية جبل زغدود‬ (‪759595001‬) | OpenStreetMap الحديقة الوطنية جبل زغدود 227.35 kilometer²
The World's biggest gardens
Object Name Area
Relation: 15689617 | OpenStreetMap None 65.76 kilometer²
Relation: ‪Hantam National Botanical Garden‬ (‪15654771‬) | OpenStreetMap Hantam National Botanical Garden 60.44 kilometer²
Way: 1151418996 | OpenStreetMap None 35.44 kilometer²
Way: 1152878185 | OpenStreetMap None 29.81 kilometer²
Way: 1160185157 | OpenStreetMap None 23.14 kilometer²
Way: ‪Brookgreen Gardens‬ (‪427566713‬) | OpenStreetMap Brookgreen Gardens 17.00 kilometer²
Way: 1156064417 | OpenStreetMap None 15.25 kilometer²
Way: 240596834 | OpenStreetMap None 15.24 kilometer²
Way: 1155381865 | OpenStreetMap None 13.93 kilometer²
Way: 1156265452 | OpenStreetMap None 13.49 kilometer²
5 Likes

For completeness, QLever indexes features by area (apparently in hectares). As of writing, QLever is current as of March 21, so the 500 biggest benches don’t account for recent edits. So I started looking at some other superlatives that haven’t gotten as much attention.

Would we call each of the 500 largest ponds ponds? Do you all have a different definition of pond across the pond?

Of the 500 smallest parks, the smallest manages to cram all the amenities required of a city park in less than 9 square centimeters. The current official recordholder comes in at a mere 34th place, soon to be 35th:

Some of the 100 largest windmills don’t have particularly wind-millable shapes:

To find more unlikely windmills, I tried ranking them by Polsby–Popper compactness, figuring that a windmill ought to have a sturdy foundation.[1] The least compact windmill appears to be the result of someone mapping the blades as they lay on the ground:

Now let’s see how well we draw circles. For kicks, let’s pretend that `junction=roundabout` and `junction=circular` are actually supposed to be round and circular, respectively.

1. Incidentally, the Polsby–Popper test is a good measure of political gerrymandering. ↩︎

8 Likes

(Yes, I fixed it)

I simply looked for `height` tags that started with 5 or more numbers.

2 Likes

What’s even better is that it was mapped by “SanityChek” Changeset: 49391786 | OpenStreetMap

5 Likes

I’ve just converted most of those to `boundary=national_park` or `protected_area`, as appropriate.

I’m at loss for appropriate tags for this one, so I left it alone. Here’s its website:

Basically, it’s a forest containing a camping ground and many ATV trails, which is the main activity in this park. It’s hardly a `leisure=park`, and the best fit I can think of is a `landuse=recreation_ground`. But I left it alone for the time being.