Monday, October 19, 2020

The World's Most Winding Roads

I'm sure that many motorists and motorcyclists would agree that the most interesting roads to drive on are those that curve and twist, while the most boring roads are those which are long and straight and with very little deviation. If you agree and want to know where the most curvy roads can be found near you then you need Curvature, an interactive map that color-codes the world's roads by how many curves they have. 

The amount of curvature of individual roads is determined using OpenStreetMap data. Individual roads are divided into sections and the radius of curvature at every segment of road is calculated. Then the lengths of the most curvy segments are added together to get a total distance spent cornering.

You can also search for the world's most twisting roads on tortuOSMity. tortuOSMity also uses OpenStreetMap data to calculate the relative straightness of roads. The curvature of roads on this map is worked out using the tortuOSMity formula, where "curviness is defined as the average quotient between road length and end-to-end beeline distance of each osm way tagged as a highway"

Exploring both maps I have come to the conclusion that the world's most interesting roads are in mountainous areas and the most boring roads are in areas which are very flat. Both maps seem to show that elevation plays a big part in determining the straightness of roads. On both maps the most bendy roads seem to be in mountainous areas and the straightest roads appear to be mostly on fairly level terrain. This makes sense as you would expect mountain roads to contain a lot of switchbacks and relatively few straight sections.

Via: WeeklyOSM

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