After seeing a dozen or more stories about OpenAddresses.org, I finally carved out some time to take a look.
They have a blog post describing how the project formed and where they hope it leads. There are still some wrinkles to be ironed out, like the relationship between OpenAddresses and OSM and some upload/download tools. But the amount of progress in such a short period of time is amazing.
The project is only months old and there are already over 10 million addresses. Just today 415 addresses have been created and 65 have been updated. North Carolina has all of its addresses loaded thanks to the good folks with the state government. There’s a good, easy to use web interface for adding and editing address points. They have REST services in place for geocoding.
And it just started.
This is a really promising project, and it solves a lot of real world problems. NSGIC has a good post outlining just some of the possibilities. There will be some challenges as well. For this kind of project, it will likely be sourced more from institutional data than from volunteered data. You’ll need to get those institutions to buy in. And for institutions to buy in, you’ll need good tools in place to bulk update (not just insert) data; no institution is going to pay to double enter this stuff, particularly in this economy. But if there’s one thing OSM has shown is that despite obstacles, a good community finds a way. I have high hopes that will be the case here.