Some proximity maps using OpenStreetMap

Let’s see how far some places are to hospitals, Jollibees, and major roads

If you have a map of your hometown, focus on your city/town’s poblacion. The areas near it have a lighter color on the map and goes darker as the distance increases (or the opposite).

Proximity maps are helpful in showing a quick view of how far are some areas to a target location such as a hospital, ATM machine, or food market. I think this can be a cause or effect to other factors too such as poverty, mortality rate in ambulance transport, or prevalence of “quack doctors”. Meanwhile, proximity analysis are helpful in site selection like if you want to put up a store that are no farther than 1km from School X.

I used data from OpenStreetMap and focused on metropolitan areas to use more complete OSM datasets.

Hospitals in Metro Manila

Basemap from OpenStreetMap, administrative boundaries from GADM

Starting from the north, the borders between Valenzuela and Bulacan, northeast of Quezon City and Rizal, and Caloocan City and Bulacan show that these areas are far from a hospital, at least a hospital plotted in OSM.

This is most likely due to the extent of the OSM data I used. I only used hospitals inside Metro Manila and didn’t include those in Rizal and Bulacan. Maybe there are nearby hospitals in the those three border areas, if there are, then the map would be different with these areas being lighter in color.

Next, at the southern part, there is a an area between Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, and Parañaque that is far from any hospital.

Jollibees in Cebu Tri-City

Jollibee logo from 1000Logos, administrative boundaries from GADM

As the map shows, most of the Jollibees are near the coast. I assume that areas nearer to the port or water have more development due to the entry of goods and money coming into them first. Anyway, I do not know if this is just an error with contributions in OSM but there are 3 Jollibees in Cebu City that are less than half a mile from each other.

Major roads in General Santos City

Basemap from OpenStreetMap, administrative boundaries from GADM

By major roads, I used the highway=primary and highway=trunk roads from OSM. I styled the roads that the major roads are thicker than everything else. As you can see at the southern part of the city, the “Makar-Kiamba Road” runs along the coast and goes straight northward.

This map can be helpful when any sort of planning. If you just overlay the roads (with no sort of styling), it looks that the city’s roads are well distributed. When you style the roads, now you see that there are a lot of roads but not major roads (see northwestern part of the city). When you overlay a proximity analysis raster, you can see at one look the places where the major roads are the farthest.

This type of map is easy to do thanks to QGIS and OpenStreetMap. I will not list each step but the general workflow.

Download target location > download boundaries > convert vector (the target location) to raster > run Proximity (Raster Distance) > clip the output raster using your boundaries > style and layer

If you like what I’m writing, give a clap or share to your friends. It would mean a lot! And if you really like what I’m writing, then make maps and start blogging too!

You can see me on LinkedIn, OpenStreetMap, and GitHub.

I’m new to the Geo and GIS community. Taught myself QGIS back in June 2019 and just enjoying the journey to wherever I land.