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

Nick Whitelegg Nick.Whitelegg at solent.ac.uk
Thu Oct 23 13:29:01 UTC 2014

I'd go along with this to some extent; I certainly don't think OSM should be "primarily" about addressing as Steve's email appears to indicate.
It should be about whatever we as mappers want it to be. If addressing's your thing, then fine, do it, but if it isn't, that's fine also.

I don't think we should be singling out one "mission" at all - other than to gather free geodata. Instead, we as mappers should be contributing whatever personally turns us on, so to speak.
There are enough people with enough diverse interests that we end up with a map showing a wide range of things.

There are still a good number of things besides addressing that are missing. Plenty of footpaths even here in the UK are still missing, for instance - to mention my own personal area of interest.

By focusing on one aim you're going to potentially turn people off whose mapping interests lie elsewhere.


-----Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote: -----
To: talk at openstreetmap.org
From: Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>
Date: 23/10/2014 08:44AM
Subject: Re: [OSM-talk] Addresses are a tiny fraction of what we do (was: The world’s best addressable map)


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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