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

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue Nov 11 08:04:12 PST 2008

(Orkney)Toru Mori wrote:
> Apart from technical design, geocoder is "useless without data" :)
> Address systems are varied and messy, at least here in Japan and in other 
> Asia region. For example, Japan has more than 3 systems. Additionally it 
> is very tough to get good "enough" data. There is no separation in address 
> text. 
> We developed geocoder.ja already for our region specifically, but 
> unfortunately it won't work in even other countries in Asia. 
> http://www.postlbs.org/ja/geocoder
> A sigle universal, global geocoder may sound perfect. However, there is 
> very limited space in terms of standardization as follows.
> -----------------------------------------
>      API (can be standardized)
> -----------------------------------------
>  thin parser (might be standardized)
> -----------------------------------------
>  geocoding logic (cannot be standardized)
> -----------------------------------------
>      local dataset (varied and messy)
> -----------------------------------------
> So what OSGeo should lead would be just APIs. If OSGeo wants to 
> standardize lower levels, then the project won't finish probably.

Toru Mori,

I do think any final solution needs to support plugging in
distinct address parsers and geocoder matching logic for
differ locales and underlying datasets.  My understanding is
that some of the commercial data providers have fairly
standard schemes for how to break down address data into a
standard tabular layout - at least for quite a bit of the world.
We might want to learn something from the breakdown approach
they used.

Generally I agree that we won't be able to write one
universal geocoder but it seems to me a good architecture
with the ability for people to contribute local parsers
and geocoding matchers might be an ideal sort of open source

Of course, I'm speaking hypothetically (without experience)
and you are speaking from experience!

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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