I’m delighted to announce that we (together with others) are financially supporting a project by OSMUK (the non-profit organisation that represents OpenStreetMappers in the UK) to build tools that will help accelerate the collection of addresses in the UK.
Unlike in many other countries address data is not open by default, meaning that if can not simply be imported into OpenStreetMap. While the production and adoption of open data of all types in the UK has improved considerably over the last 10+ years (not least thanks to the efforts of the Open Data Institute) the legal situation around geographic data, addresses, and postal codes remains - sigh - complicated. Indeed this was one of the key reasons for OpenStreetMaps creation in London in 2004.
Rather than simply hope things eventually improve, OSMUK has launched a new project which aims to take the various forms of open data that are available and use them to create validation tools that allow volunteer mappers to more quickly and correctly capture address information. Basically the idea is to use publicly available data to better show mappers where addresses are that are not yet in OpenStreetMap, and then allow them to record those addresses quickly and in an error free way.
Here’s the video of Rob Nickerson’s talk at the June 2021 Geomob Online event in which he explains the background and goals for the project.
I am very pleased to report the project is now kicking off, for those interested in the technical details Russ Garret (himself a former interviewee here on our blog for his work on OpenInfraMap), has published a detailed technical overview of the project. Anyone who would like to be involved should please get in touch with OSM UK, there is a great deal to do, and people with many different skillsets are needed.
Due to Brexit we moved our legal base to Germany a few years ago, but we remain corporate members of OSM UK, continue to happily serve many UK-based customer, and remain committed to supporting OpenStreetMap in the country where it started. Many thanks to the OSMUK organisers (all volunteers), everyone working on the project, and the other organisations joining us in funding the work.