[talk-au] The Paradox of Postcodes (Was Re: Victorian Vicmap Address Import Proposal - Suburb and Postcode discussion)

stevea steveaOSM at softworkers.com
Thu Jun 17 22:34:08 UTC 2021

On Jun 17, 2021, at 2:14 AM, Andrew Harvey via Talk-au <talk-au at openstreetmap.org> wrote:
> It's a fair point that Vicmap's own postcode field shouldn't be taken as 100% correct, it looks like it might have been assigned based on postcode boundaries so might still suffer issues because of this, but where addr:postcode is not already mapped, most of the time the Vicmap one will be correct.

Here, we see about how slippery the slope it is.  Lots of weasel words there, no offense Andrew, but it's already "smeary" (and that's largely my point).  There does come a point where we have to look ourselves in the mirror and say "even with all the fudging and hand-waving, let's do this" and wonder if we are taking ourselves seriously.

I hear something like "well, mate, a postcode is a postcode, everybody knows what that is..." yet right here, right now we see that isn't quite the case.

I'm not here to pick a fight, I'm sorta calling "tag, that's smeary" on the whole thing.  I might have thought that "paradox" of the topic alerts that this is a prickly fence to sit, maybe not.  It's messy, I agree.  I merely call "a whiff in the air," (as we Yanks have these things, too) and they are odd and fit into a "not quite really mappable" box.  They truly do.  I suppose if you had the letter-carrier walkable-drivable routes as sub-trees in a network fully-labeled described with all postcodes (such a thing must exist, in Post offices), sure, you could "see" such a thing (is true) — and with time and permission model it in OSM.  But we (OSM) don't, so we can't really say much more than "most of the time" and "suffer issues" if we are being truthful (and I thank you for being truthful).

It's a smeary paradox.  We have these in OSM.  It's tough, I know.  We do our best to model the real world.

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