OpenStreetMap

Adding Addresses

Posted by DaCor on 22 February 2013 in English (English)

Over the last month or two I've started to put more time into adding addresses in residental areas in my local area and according to Pascal Neis' great site, I have over 2,000 pieces of address data added since the beginning of the year. At this rate, by the time I've finished with my small city I will probably have over 100,000 pieces of address data added.

Here's the kicker though, until recently I was not aware of the importance/relevance of address data in OSM and I've done A LOT of mapping of the last 13 months.

Initially when I started I used my Android phone and Vespucci which has been my weapon of choice while out and about however for this kind of detail I found it too awkward and tried out a few other apps. I tried Keypadmapper and OSMPad and in the end settled on OSMPad simply because I could see exactly where on the map I was placing the address marker as I can't always maintain GPS lock. The ability to cache maps was also appealing for areas where there was a poor data connection.

How I gather my address info now is in 3 stages:

  • I add the buildings first(adding addr:street),
  • then go survey,
  • then dump the traces I've collected into JOSM and add details to all the buildings (addr:housenumber).

There are 2 additional benefits/side effects of doing it this way.

First, it is forcing me to go back over every single street, road, alley, walkway etc in my city and I am refining alignment, adding missed details (street lighting, speed bumps, stop signs etc) and generally improving every square inch of the map for my city.

Second, I am revisiting all of these areas again for a second time, however, where previously I would have just gotten the name of a housing estate from a sign at the entrance and moved on to the next one, I am now going INTO every estate and surveying all of it and finding

  • other estates/apartments tucked in the back that are not signposted at the main entrance
  • house names
  • guest houses
  • small businesses run from the home

Hopefully this post can help others to get started on this. Its not a bible on how to do it, merely a few pointers on how to get started

Galway City

Comment from SimonPoole on 22 February 2013 at 18:38

What works reasonably well if you have building outlines already available in the OSM data (or have added them yourself before going out on a survey is to use vespucci to add house numbers directly to the buildings. I would suspect that this works just as well with the iOS based mobile editor.

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Comment from DaCor on 22 February 2013 at 18:51

Thanks Simon, Vespucci was what i meant above where I said OSMTracker. I'll edit the post to correct that.

Personally, I found it slow to add details when there was a new piece of information every few yards. Aagin, personnally, I would prefer to survey as much as possible during a survey and add the details later using JOSM

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Comment from maxolasersquad on 23 February 2013 at 15:18

I have a number of techniques. If I'm not intending to do mapping, but just find myself in a place to add some data I add it with Vespucci. If I'm mapping out a neighborhood I will do it from the couch first, tracing the buildings and adding the city, street, etc part of the address. I then follow it up on the ground either with a printout of the area, where I write the street numbers on the paper, or I add the street numbers with Vespucci. I know the importance of address data is disputed, but if OSM is ever going to be used to get to places by addresses, phone line finding a friends house, then it is useful.

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Comment from westis on 13 September 2013 at 06:19

DaCor: If you are using OsmPad to add house numbers, but also add other data while surveying, do you also keep Vespucci open and switch between the two? Or how do you add other data that are not addresses?

Personally I find KeypadMapper 3 a lot easier to use than OsmPad, although not as specific in placement of the address nodes.

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Comment from westis on 13 September 2013 at 06:27

Another question: in new areas without satellite imagery, are you just adding the addresses anyway, or adding buildings using other methods than satellite imagery tracing?

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Comment from DaCor on 13 September 2013 at 14:42

westis, There are no locations where I am surveying which does not have imagery

I use a variety of methods when surveying, depending on the circumstances e.g. if I'm solely surveying in the car on the move I only use OSMTracker to collect details. I add that info later thought JOSM

Walking around, I use OSMpad for addresses or vespucci for POI additions.

I have keypadmapper on my phone, but havent gotten to using it yet. I missed Markus' presentation at SOTM on it, as I've heard its quite good.

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Comment from westis on 13 September 2013 at 16:27

Cool. I'm also trying to find a good workflow for using OSMTracker, setting up different layouts for different purposes. I wish there was a way to share layouts and icons easily, it would really help many in using OSMTracker.

I'm also yet to start using Vespucci properly, sometimes it feels quicker just to add data when surveying and organise it in JOSM when back home. Although it's easy to fall behind, having more GPS tracks than there is time to add in JOSM...

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Comment from DaCor on 13 September 2013 at 17:09

nods I know, I have tracks going back several months which I still have to make use of.

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