The OpenStreetMap collaborative mapping project (OSM) includes diverse spatial information, coming from various open sources, most notably the website’s users, who update the map. The information in OSM is an important source, largely because it is provided as open, rather than proprietary, information for the use of individuals and websites and apps. OSM is like the “Wikipedia of maps”.

OSM currently includes 5,088 food businesses in Israel (including the West Bank), including restaurants (2,400); cafes (1,200); fast food (1,100); and bars and pubs (400). Of these businesses, 7.5% are located in Jerusalem, of which 5.1% are located in neighborhoods predominantly populated by Jews, and 2.3% are located in the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. The food business in which Jerusalem has the highest weight within Israel is pubs and bars – 12% of which are located in the city.

Food businesses in Jerusalem (those listed in OSM) are concentrated in the city center (44% of the food businesses in the city). Additional concentrations are in the Old City (12%); East Downtown Area (north of the old city, 11%); and the southern neighborhoods of the inner city (Baka, German Colony, Katamon and Talbiyeh, 11%).

How are the businesses in the food sector divided? In Israel, the largest group is restaurants (47%), as is in Jerusalem (46% in Jewish neighborhoods, and 53% in East Jerusalem). Cafes account for 24% of the food businesses in Israel, and in Jerusalem the percentages are similar (22% in Jewish neighborhoods and 25% in the east). Cafes account for a particularly high rate in the Old City (34% of the food business in this area). Bars and pubs make up 8% of the food business in Israel, but in Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods, almost one in five food businesses is a pub or a bar (18%), and in the city center, the percentage reaches about 25%. In East Jerusalem, the percentage of pubs and bars is very small (2% of the food businesses).

Two additional concentrations of food businesses are located around Jerusalem – Ramallah (about 260 businesses) and Bethlehem (about 120).

It is important to note that, as with any project based on public participation, OSM also has a bias in favor of places that the public visits more. Neighborhood cafes, for example, do not appear to be fully listed, possibly because they serve older or less tech-aware clients, that do not feed OSM with information. Still – cafes are the main food business in residential neighborhoods that are not intensive activity centers.