[Talk-us] Am I doing this right? Houses w/ addresses

Harald Kliems kliems at gmail.com
Sun Apr 12 01:35:37 UTC 2015

In areas with detached houses, the Android app Keypadmapper has worked
pretty well for me. Once house numbers get too dense (worst case: Montreal,
where each apartment in a duplex or triplex will have it's own house
number) it starts getting tricky assigning the number to the correct
building. And yeah, Mapillary imagery can definitely be useful for address


On Sat, Apr 11, 2015 at 5:37 PM Tod Fitch <tod at fitchdesign.com> wrote:

> As to the first: Yes, definitely a great job of mapping address house
> numbers!
> As to gathering numbers: I’ve gone through several iterations on
> collecting data. At first I was using a walking papers style method
> complete with people asking me what I was doing and, in one case, calling
> the police. That was too much attention for my liking.
> My next iteration was to use OSMtracker with a set of ear buds with
> microphone and simply gathering a voice sample as I walked by a house. This
> actually worked pretty well. I was inconspicuous as people are used to
> phone users talking to themselves. I had two problems with it however:
> First there was sometimes ambient noise that made it difficult to hear the
> number when played back. Second, and far worse, it took longer to enter all
> the data than it took to collect. I’d take a two hour walk in the morning
> and spend the rest of the day entering data. Okay to do occasionally but
> not something to make a career of.
> My current method is to use OSMpad and type in the numbers as I walk by.
> Data collection is a little slower and more conspicuous than using
> OSMtracker with a microphone but so far it is inconspicuous enough that I
> don’t attract attention. After all, many people wander the streets
> oblivious to their surroundings while texting. A mapper appearing to do the
> same thing is not remarkable. The big advantage over voice recordings is
> that in JOSM it only takes a couple of minutes to align the address points
> with the satellite imagery, verify street names, add city and upload.
> Regarding doing address collection in a car, or for that matter on a
> bicycle, I don’t think it is really feasible to get each number that way
> unless you are driving at walking speed. Think how long it actually takes
> to 1. Press a record button, 2. Wait a second to assure it is recording, 3.
> speak the number or street name. If you are driving at 25 MPH that is 37
> feet/second. In my neighborhood you need to be consistently entering a new
> address every second to second and a half. Try clearly enunciating a 2, 3,
> 4 or even 5 digit house number in 1.5 seconds. Now try doing that
> consistently for hundreds of houses. If you are only interested in house
> number ranges, then collection in a moving vehicle could be feasible. But I
> don’t consider it feasible to get individual numbers for all houses along a
> street that way: Too much typing or speaking in too little time. A solution
> to that would be to be automatically taking geotagged photographs
> continuously the same as the survey vehicles that Google and other employ.
> I suppose the price of that type of thing will drop but for now if you are
> just mapping with a handheld GPS or smart phone walking is the best way I
> know to collect house numbers.
> Cheers,
> Tod
> On Apr 11, 2015, at 1:53 PM, Nick Hocking <nick.hocking at gmail.com> wrote:
> Excellent job Steve,
> I believe that house addresses is the only thing missing from OSM that is
> stopping it from becoming the mainstream mapping data of choice!
> I’ve always been interested in how to collect addresses, which can be a
> time consuming and difficult task. Walking around a neighborhood with paper
> and pencil peering into people’s letter boxes and at their front doors may
> upset some people, so I’ve though up a (possibly) better way.
> Two people, in a car. Two GPS units, probably both smartphones, one
> recording the track log and the other recording the passengers voice.
> As you drive down the road, the passenger calls out something like…..
> 12 left 15right 14 left  16 right….. turning left on main street, 67 left
> etc, etc..
> Then later in an editor you can match times from the two sources and
> compare against Bing imagery to correctly place the house numbers.
> Cheers
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