[OSM-talk] Ground truth for non-physical objects

Roland Olbricht roland.olbricht at gmx.de
Wed Dec 12 19:23:02 UTC 2018


> I would not be surprised if this was more of a rural/urban divide than a 
> country divide.

We had run a building for 15 years without an official address here in 
Germany, Wuppertal (has more than 350k inhabitants):

To cut the story short:

It had been a former signal box, and as such it had been under federal 
control. The local government simply had not even been allowed to assign 
an official address, because the land parcel had been exempt from its 

We've got utility supply, received post and had a phone landline. All to 
the never-offical address. The local council did naturalize the address 
once they were allowed to because the designation of the railway line's 
land changed. Similar cases can stem from:
- other laws interfering
- pending court trials
- boundaries across the premises
- human error
- internal technical requirements (Florian Lohoff's example)
- historical reasons
- acccumulating update delays
and probably more.

On another premises, the garbage collection address has been distinct 
from the signposted address, because the house had been located on a 
street corner and the utility had a meaningful idea where the trash 
collection did least degradation to general traffic. The different 
address meant a different collection schedule.

I'm pretty confident that similar cases exist in Cologne (more than 1M 
inhabitants) and Berlin (more than 5M inhabitants). I would be surprised 
not to find them all over the world.

For other types of data, I remeber at least three larger issues where 
the flow of information is reversed: the owing entity deemed its data so 
unreliable that they re-surveyed the data in OSM and copied it back to 
their database.

Best regards,


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