Addresses are the primary limiting factor of OpenStreetMap – there just isn’t much out there that’s easily licensed and OSM itself for a variety of reasons lacks address data. OSM looks pretty – it’s a great display map. It’s also routable with a lot of work. But, you can’t find addresses on it.
OpenGeoCodes has data in the US and some starter data in Canada and the UK to try to fix this.
So what do the apps do?
The apps let you walk around and collect data. Say you’re standing outside 100 Main Street – just tap it, the app records the location and you’re done. Normally the app tries to guess where you are based on location.
But wait, there’s more! As you walk along, the app will optimize what addresses to show you. For example if you’re walking on the even side of a street going north, the app will figure this out and present you ascending even numbers. So if you enter 100 and 102, and the app knows 104 is nearby it will focus on this.
This makes it easy to walk along and just tap, tap, tap to collect data. We collect this data together and then make it freely downloadable. There’s also a mailing list if you want to get involved.
Where to from here? The feature list includes a more human design, notifications for when near places with no data, OSM upload and fixing and more. Drop me an email if you run in to any issues.