OpenStreetMap in H2020 Projects

~Reviewing the mentions of OpenStreetMap in H2020 European projects~

The overall goal of this project is to have a look at the involvement of OpenStreetMap within the publicly funded H2020 European projects. To do so, this project systematically reviews all the H2020 publicly available deliverables in order to check if they involve OpenStreetMap or other cartographic services such as Google Maps, Bing Maps or Baidu Maps. This high-level observations allow to have an idea of how H2020 projects rely on the OSM initiative to achieve their purposes.

Since 1984, the European Commission has been supporting research through various successive programmes. Recently, from 2014 to 2020, the EU invested approximately 80 billion euros into the eighth programme named Horizon 2020. Among various focuses such as the excellence of science or industrial secondments, H2020 emphasised on supporting an open access policy for all the research results. Moreover, H2020 projects were strongly encouraged to use open source software and tools. Practically, all the research domains were eligible to be supported by the H2020 programme, and therefore, the scopes of the projects vary from e.g. computer science, to philology passing by agriculture... Technically, as these projects are almost always involving several partners located in several European member states joining forces from multiple institutions, there is often a need to deal with data coming from different places. And, more generally, geo-data are often involved to tag information which may be research data, meeting localisation, partner addresses, etc. In such a context where open source tools are recommended by the European Commission, we analyse the presence of OpenStreetMap in H2020 projects. In addition, we also review the presence of other geographic services such as Google, Bing and Baidu maps, in order to better understand how researchers tend to choose one over the other.
In order to obtain the deliverables together with projects’ information, we combined two European sources of information to gather all the facets we wanted to cover: CORDIS and Data Europa. In particular, we extracted from CORDIS various high-level information about the projects themselves: from their names and acronyms to their durations passing by the specific European call-for-fundings they answered and obtained their money from. This latter category can be useful in order to have a finer-grained understanding of the domains which are prone to involved cartographic services. Next in order, Data.Europa was used to download the deliverables themselves, which required several days of computing resources.

Empirically, we notice that 1) one order of magnitude separates the occurrences of each cartographic service and 2) OpenStreetMap is from far the most represented solution and thereby the one on which public European researchers rely the most. Contextually, it is also interesting to note that not all the deliverables (1796 of them) mentioning “point of interest” refer to a cartographic service.
Moreover, we also analysed the co-occurence cases, where different cartographic providers are jointly mentioned within a single deliverable. Notably, there are not that many. This trend tend to suggest that once a group of researchers has chosen a cartographic solution, they tend to stick to it and do not try to compare them.
Furthermore, regarding OpenSeaMap, we counted 312 mentions from 27 deliverables, among which 20 ones mention both OSM and OpenSeaMap, showing how connected are the two initiatives.

Inria's logo Wemap's logo
Acronym Name OSM Mentions
5GINFIRE Evolving FIRE into a 5G-Oriented Experimental Playground for Vertical industries 1532
NextBase Next-generation interdigitated back-contacted silicon heterojunction solar cells and modules by design and process innovations 1495
5G-MEDIA Programmable edge-to-cloud virtualization fabric for the 5G Media industry 1070
TRANSPIRE Terahertz RAdio communication using high ANistropy SPIn torque REsonators 600
CHEOPS Production technology to achieve low Cost and Highly Efficient phOtovoltaic Perovskite Solar cells 541