The Pedestrians First city indicators are all built on three sources of data: OpenStreetMap, OpenMobilityData, and the European Commission’s Global Human Settlement Layer.
You may have noticed inaccuracies in our measurements of some cities. That may be because of incomplete information in the data sources we rely on. Fortunately, you can contribute to those sources and help us to measure cities more accurately.
OpenStreetMap is a wiki-like user-created open-source map of the entire world. It gives us information about the locations and types of streets, as well as healthcare and school facilities. In general, better OpenStreetMap data helps cities get higher scores on our indicators.
Fortunately, it’s easy to contribute to OpenStreetMap and improve its data for your city. This page or this guide are great places to start. You can contribute to OpenStreetMap directly, find a local OpenStreetMap community, or organize a “mapathon” in your city.
GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) is a format for data about public transit services. OpenMobilityData stores GTFS data from all over the world. We use information from OpenMobilityData to generate statistics and maps for People Near Transit.
If your city already has GTFS data but it isn’t listed on OpenMobilityData, you can create a GitHub account and then submit a feed to OpenMobilityData.
If your city doesn’t have GTFS data, you can help create that data! The World Bank offers a free, helpful online course that anyone can take. This course helps you understand what GTFS is and how to use it to describe both formal and informal transit. There are other sources of information here. Keep in mind that GTFS doesn’t have to capture your entire city at first; sometimes it can be helpful to just start with a few key transit lines.
The Global Human Settlement Layer
The Global Human Settlement Layer from the European Commission and the accompanying Urban Centre Database give us information about the distribution of population density around the world. The most up-to-date version of that information is from 2015. For more information, see the Global Human Settlement Layer website. Unlike OpenStreetMap and OpenMobilityData, this dataset is relatively fixed, although the European Commission does have plans to update it in the future.
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