[OSM-talk] Addresses are a tiny fraction of what we do (was: The world’s best addressable map)

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Thu Oct 23 07:39:29 UTC 2014


On 10/23/2014 08:57 AM, Marc Gemis wrote:
> Wouldn't it be great that we would have import tools that can be used by
> many groups ? 

As far as addresses are concerned, there's "OpenAddresses" (the US
version, not the older Swiss project) that collects openly licensed
address data and to my knowledge they're also looking into how that data
can then be combined with OSM for geocoding, without actually importing
it in OSM.

To my mind that's an excellent solution; you can dump address data into
the pool and have it processed without interfering with the manually
surveyed data that is in OSM. And users can be given the choice of using
only the manually surveyed data, or only the government data, or a
mixture of both.

OSM is not a melting pot for the world's open data and while there is a
place for imports, every import will have to be carefully thought about
and evaluated. Streamlining that process is not necessarily in the best
interest of OpenStreetMap.

Frankly, I don't get all the brouhaha about addresses. Yes, geocoding is
commercially interesting, but is it interesting for us as a project? Are
the mappers in OSM doing what they do because they always wanted to have
a house-level free geocoder? I very much doubt that. Technology wise, I
find it almost insulting to reduce OSM to a geocoding database and
measure OSM in how many addresses it has. There's so much more to the
data we collect than merely placing a latitude and longitude against an


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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