Republishing OpenStreetMap’s Roads as Linked Routable Tiles

  • Pieter ColpaertEmail author
  • Ben Abelshausen
  • Julián Andrés Rojas Meléndez
  • Harm Delva
  • Ruben Verborgh
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11762)


Route planning providers manually integrate different geo-spatial datasets before offering a Web service to developers, thus creating a closed world view. In contrast, combining open datasets at runtime can provide more information for user-specific route planning needs. For example, an extra dataset of bike sharing availabilities may provide more relevant information to the occasional cyclist. A strategy for automating the adoption of open geo-spatial datasets is needed to allow an ecosystem of route planners able to answer more specific and complex queries. This raises new challenges such as (i) how open geo-spatial datasets should be published on the Web to raise interoperability, and (ii) how route planners can discover and integrate relevant data for a certain query on the fly. We republished OpenStreetMap’s road network as “Routable Tiles” to facilitate its integration into open route planners. To achieve this, we use a Linked Data strategy and follow an approach similar to vector tiles. In a demo, we show how client-side code can automatically discover tiles and perform a shortest path algorithm. We provide four contributions: (i) we launched an open geo-spatial dataset that is available for everyone to reuse at no cost, (ii) we published a Linked Data version of the OpenStreetMap ontology, (iii) we introduced a hypermedia specification for vector tiles that extends the Hydra ontology, and (iv) we released the mapping scripts, demo and routing scripts as open source software.


Smart cities Open data Linked open data Route planning Journey planning Mobility as a service 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IDLab, Department of Electronics and Information SystemsGhent University – imecGhentBelgium

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