[Talk-GB] Google maps added addresses!

Gregory Williams gregory at gregorywilliams.me.uk
Mon Dec 28 17:03:40 UTC 2020

At first though I thought that these may have been machine-read, too.
I've taken a brief glance at the house numbering that they have near to
me. Several of the numbers are completely wrong.

However, I've also spotted places where there are house numbers placed
at a regular interval, but no houses actually exist there (nor ever
did). The actual numbers listed reflect houses that are perhaps 100
metres further along the road and on the other side. Further up the
same road there's numbers at a different regular spacing. Those are
situated roughly in the right area of the road, but spaced out perhaps
30% too much compared with the actual house spacing.

I'd hazard that these have perhaps come from some source where the
extent of the house numbers for a span between junctions are known
(e.g. perhaps the houses on the corners of the junctions), and linearly
interpolated from that.

I also notice places where the houses are set back a bit further from
the road centre-line, due to the nature of the junction there. The
numbers for the houses have been projected onto the road's centre-line, 
rather than on the buildings themselves. A few properties further
along, where they're closer to the road, the numbers have been placed
roughly near the properties instead of on the road centreline.


On Mon, 2020-12-28 at 16:34 +0000, Jez Nicholson wrote:
> Interesting....
> My first guess is that house numbers are machine read from StreetView
> images.
> The positioning of the numbers is slightly irratic. Some are on the
> centre of houses, some near the front, some are outside. Maybe
> indicating multiple sources.... Some houses have numbers twice.
> On Mon, 28 Dec 2020, 16:24 Rob Nickerson, <rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Hi all,
> > 
> > I just spotted that Google Maps has added house numbers to their
> > map of the UK. They are all over the place - does anyone recognise
> > the source?
> > 
> > What can we do to improve coverage of addresses in OSM? I notice
> > that we have some pretty good aerial imagery now. Should we see if
> > we can get good building outline from an AI / machine learning
> > approach? If the quality is good we can then use these to help add
> > addresses. For example we can ask new mappers to add addresses
> > using tools such as StreetComplete.
> > 
> > Any thoughts much appreciated. I have a feeling that if we can come
> > up with a plan we may be able to get some help from several of the
> > big tech companies now interested in the UK. It would be better if
> > we were steering this rather than it happening to us.
> > 
> > Best wishes,
> > Rob
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