I've seen research papers (Haklay 2010) using the data regarding the number of edits (or the contributors working on) on the features of OSM. I am using QGIS and download the area I want to study. However, data obtained this way are limited to shapefiles. How could I systematically obtain the number of edits made on each feature of OSM? This information have been used as a proxy for the data quality of OSM, which is something I want to evaluate.


Haklay, 2010, How Many Volunteers Does it Take to Map an Area Well? The Validity of Linus’ Law to Volunteered Geographic Information


2 Answers 2


There are full history dumps of the planet available. They contain every revision of each object. Note that these files are very large (currently 90 GB compressed and 1 TB uncompressed). See the wiki entry for hints about how to process them.

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    In addition to that, some regions will have "full history" extracts at Geofabrik: download.geofabrik.de/index.html . If you're struggling to download and process 90Gb these might be useful. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 16:00

The number of edits is saved in the version number. Note that moving a way vertex changes only the node version, not the way version, while inserting a node changes both, and editing way tags only the way version.

If that is all you need, you don't need the full history dump, only the current Geofabrik extract, or Overpass querying out meta.

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