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

Claude Philipona claude.philipona at camptocamp.com
Wed Nov 12 08:23:36 PST 2008

I think too that it is possible to break down the problem as described
by Frank to get a widely usable geocoder. But I do think to that is not
so trivial as the way to described and use addresses varies considerably
even in Europe. There are quite a few possibilities of strategies, from
very rigid scheme search to quasi full text.

We worked on a geocoder for a client a couple of years ago, implementing
some of these ideas trying to use a more or less universal way of
geocoding, and a way of describing how the data and addresses are
organized. I will try to take look back to it to see if there is ideas
or code that could be interesting.


Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> (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
> project.
> Of course, I'm speaking hypothetically (without experience)
> and you are speaking from experience!
> Best regards,

Claude Philipona
Camptocamp SA
CH-1015 Lausanne

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