[OSGeo-Discuss] The existence (and value of) "clean" geocoding tools?

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at crschmidt.net
Wed Sep 24 14:14:26 PDT 2008

On Wed, Sep 24, 2008 at 01:53:34PM -0700, David Dearing wrote:
> Hi.  I just recently stumbled across OSGeo and have poked around to try 
> and get a feel for the different projects, but still have a lingering 
> question.  Forgive me if this isn't the appropriate channel to be asking 
> this.
> It seems that there is a solid focus on mapping, image manipulation, and 
> geometric processing at OSGeo.  And, in the more broad world including 
> non-open source projects, there are a lot of tools available for the 
> mass production of geotagged or geocoded documents.  However, the 
> accuracy of these systems, while good, doesn't seem sufficient when 
> accuracy is at a premium (from what I've seen they tend to focus on volume).
> Are there any existing tools that can be used to tag/code documents, 
> perhaps sacrificing the mass-produced aspect for better accuracy?  Have 
> I just missed/overlooked some existing tool(s) that meet this 
> description?  Or, am I in the minority in wanting to produce fewer 
> "clean" geocoded/tagged documents rather than many "pretty good" documents?

I'm not aware of many/any open source solutions for "geotagging"
documents. The solutions that exist tend to be proprietary, so far as
I'm aware.

In general, if you're looking for a tool to tag natural langauge placenames 
in documents to lat/lon locations, the 'best' solution I'm aware of is
MetaCarta's GeoTagger (which we can discuss more offlist, if you're
interested). However, I'm not aware of anything that does this kind of
analysis that isn't statistical in nature -- and statistical-based
things are subject to the same types of flaws in this field, so you just
tend to look for the people who are doing statistics the best. (Given
that I work for MetaCarta, I won't offer an opinion on how much better
we are than everyone else at this. ;))

Is this what you're looking for? Are there open source related solutions
that you've found?

Christopher Schmidt
Web Developer

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