[OSGeo-Discuss] Anyone interested in geocoding and routing?

Stephen Woodbridge woodbri at swoodbridge.com
Mon Nov 10 12:54:25 PST 2008

Andrew Ross wrote:
> Thank you everyone for the great response to this post.
> I'd like to poll everyone's thoughts regarding the appropriate next 
> steps. It seems to me we have good support for this initiative.
> It isn't as clear to me yet what the best way forward is. My instincts 
> are leaning towards spending time to capture requirements, identify key 
> use cases, and crucial standards. The thinking is that with this 
> information captured, we're in a better position to review the 
> implementations available to identify which candidates are best 
> positioned to satisfy those needs.

yeah, this sounds about right, use cases or requirements are a good 
start. Here are some of mine:

Use any dataset with some minimal requirements? For example, Navteq, 
TeleAtlas, Tiger, Canadian NRN data, OpenStreetMap, other local statsets.

API that can easily be called from C or C++ applications code or an 
apache web service, or be SWIG'ed to various scripting languages.

The ability to pass a full address as a single field, or to be able to 
pass data already split into fields.

Should be capable of returning approximate results based on fuzzy searches.

Results should be scored and sorted with best first.

I would like to see the backing stores for the geocoder to be SQL based 
and configurable between, SQLite, Postgresql, others.

The ability to support multiple countries and languages. This has an 
implication for parsing and standardizing data. We should be able to add 
support for a new country by installing some additional datafiles or tables.

> I would like to echo Andrew Turner's comments that we're focusing on 
> API's that can be used offline rather than a web service. (though it's 
> good to see great web service projects out there!)

Having a good API is critical because it is trivial to write various 
versions of applications as shells about the API. For example:

1) fetch command arguments, call api, print results -- commandline tool
2) fetch web request, call api, return results as xml -- CGI service
3) SWIG API, script interface for perl, python, .NET, etc
4) etc

-Steve W

> Input, thoughts, feedback are greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance,
> Andrew
> *From:* discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org 
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] *On Behalf Of *Andrew Ross
> *Sent:* November 5, 2008 7:59 PM
> *To:* OSGEO Discussion list
> *Subject:* [OSGeo-Discuss] Anyone interested in geocoding and routing?
> Hi Everyone,
> A few of us have been talking and thought the timing might be right to 
> try and start projects to work on Geocoding and Routing. We're still 
> gathering information and checking to learn who's interested.
> If you are interested, please check out the following wiki's and add 
> your name in the section you are interested in.
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OpenGeocoder
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OpenRouter
> There are experts out there that are far more knowledgeable about 
> Geocoding and Routing than I am. To these good people: please feel 
> empowered to make modifications, provide feedback in whatever way you 
> feel most comfortable.
> Thanks,
> Andrew
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