[Talk-GB] Automated Code-Point Open postcode editing (simple cases only)

Devonshire maps at fortyfivekev.co.uk
Fri Jul 19 15:58:58 UTC 2019

On Fri, Jul 19, 2019, at 3:21 PM, Andrzej wrote:
> Thank you for your opinion, Robert. I will suspend adding postcodes from Code-point Open.
> Do others agree with it or would you rather have more postcodes in database first and work on accuracy and completeness afterwards? 
> Indeed, Code-Point Open is less than ideal, the issues are almost always caused by lack of differentiation between residential and "large user" postcodes. On the other hand, it is the only legal source of postcodes we have, other than local knowledge, but the latter is realistically limited to a dozen or so postcodes per mapper. Businesses website could also be OK but they are usually copyrighted. Derived databases, like FHRS, are generally not OK, a unless also permitted by Royal Mail.
> It's not that I don't care about complete addresses either. But my spare time is limited, and I feel I can contribute more by adding missing postcodes in a town vs adding complete addresses in a few streets. Others may have different priorities. 
> I disagree that having data from Code-Point Open outside OSM is sufficient. Excluding surveyed information, everything in OSM is already publicly available (or should be). Yet, we all keep using and working on OSM. Besides, how to extend or combine information without adding it first?


I would love to see a comparison done between the accuracy of manually added postcodes vs. those added from the OS or ONS datasets. Someone manually added a bunch of postcodes near me and I am pretty certain quite a few of them are wrong but without going around knocking on people's doors they are probably going to stay wrong forever.

I usually use the ONS Postcode dataset (https://geoportal.statistics.gov.uk/datasets/ons-postcode-directory-may-2019) rather than CodePoint Open. The datasets do have differences and which is more accurate I have no idea. The ONS centroids are mostly "snapped" to the nearest building within the postcode so are pretty easy to match up.

I know that Robert is sincere in his views but the classic "don't add data to OSM because it will spoil someone else's enjoyment" always makes me chuckle. In most parts of the country the idea that the current cohort of mappers can add accurate address data by hand is pie in the sky.

There are certainly issues with adding these postcodes to buildings in dense town centres but in those areas you can often find postcodes by other means anyway. I think adding postcodes to residential or rural areas from these datasets is fine but I personally wouldn't add them unless I had some on-the-ground knowledge of the area.

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