[Talk-us] Nominatim & US places

Richard Welty rwelty at averillpark.net
Wed Dec 22 15:31:50 GMT 2010


i'm trying to understand some of what's going on with Nominatim and
US places.

specifically, in trying to look up a local road name here in NY, i'm curious
about why Nominatim does what it does, and whether there are changes
that need to be made in the map data, or changes perhaps in how Nominatim
interprets the map data.

the specific example i'm using here is Biittig Road in the Town of Sand 
Lake,
NY:

http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=42.61507&lon=-73.59512&zoom=15&layers=M

postal addresses on Biittig will be in Averill Park, NY. this is how a 
normal
user would probably try to look it up. it fails.

what works are either of these two strings:  "Biittig Road, NY" and
"Biittig Road, Sliters, NY"

Sliters is a tiny unincorporated hamlet a mile or so south of Biittig 
Road, and it
is probably the nearest such from the gnis import. it's not really 
correct for any
postal addressed based lookups, and i think very few would ever try to 
look it up
that way. they'll try "Biittig Road, Averill Park, NY" get nothing and 
decide the
whole thing sucks. we should probably attempt to provide a slightly better
user experience.

the displayed results from Nominatim are curious as well:

Unclassified RoadBiittig Road, Sliters, Saratoga, 12018, ???????, United 
States of America 
<http://www.openstreetmap.org/?minlon=-73.6051635742188&minlat=42.612548828125&maxlon=-73.5850830078125&maxlat=42.6175994873047>

I'm not at all clear on why Saratoga is showing up at all. Saratoga 
County is a bit
north and west of here; Biittig Road is in Rensselaer County (note that 
i did just
fix some county border issues with Rensselaer County, it was mislabled
Franklin County when it was imported, and the admin_level was missing
from one segment. i need to go look at the eastern border with 
Massachusetts,
i think that's wrong for Rensselaer County as well. i did these lookups 
before i
made the corrections, and i don't know how rapidly changes like this impact
Nominatim.)

can someone involved in the Nominatim comment on this, and what needs to be
done either on the map data side or the Nominatim side to get results that
are more consistent with what an ordinary user-off-the-street might be 
expecting?

richard

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