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Old 02-09-2017, 04:54 PM
Interrobang!? Interrobang!? is offline
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How does a new address get propagated through GPS and mapping systems?

My mother is moving to a newly constructed house, part of an entirely new subdivision on a new street. Her house is complete, and officially has a street address —but as of today, very few GPS or mapping systems accurately locate it. Google Maps gets very close, but Waze does not, directing you to a spot about a mile away. And Apple Maps, which I realize is completely separate, ends up at yet a third location, closer than Waze but farther than Google Maps.

I'm curious: How do new addresses —new numbers on new streets —show up on GPS and mapping systems? Who starts the process? Who tells whom about new, valid addresses, and how does that info propagate?
  #2  
Old 02-09-2017, 04:58 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Some of them (Apple maps, for example) come, at least in part, from crowd-sourced data (open street map project). So, as soon as people who are part of the "crowd" drive on the streets, or post corrections to Apple Maps, the maps will get updated.

I don't know about Google.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:06 PM
Interrobang!? Interrobang!? is offline
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Yeah, Waze works via crowdsourcing as well. But Waze knows there's a street there. It just doesn't direct you to the correct address when you enter that address as a destination.
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:22 PM
suranyi suranyi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interrobang!? View Post
Yeah, Waze works via crowdsourcing as well. But Waze knows there's a street there. It just doesn't direct you to the correct address when you enter that address as a destination.
Anything that comes from Open Street Map, you can fix yourself, if you want to. It's open source. Like Wikipedia, anybody can edit it. It might take some time before changes propagate to the navigation system, though. Also it might be tricky for someone who's never worked with map data before to edit.

If the map data comes from a proprietary source, such as Google Maps, that's different. You can request changes but can't actually make them yourself.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:42 PM
Ornery Bob Ornery Bob is offline
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Maps are commercial affairs and it is up to the map makers to keep them current and accurate.

Back in the day, they were mostly made from aerial photographs taken from planes. Nowadays, it is satellite photos.

So my guess is your mother's new subdivision will get mapped as soon as it gets seen a few times from space, depending on who is doing the mapping and whose satellite they use and what update cycle they use.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:42 PM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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Doesn't it start with the Post Office? My house was a new construction too. When a deed is registered, the Post Office is notified and you start getting mail. However, you will probably find that no one else recognizes your address. You can't buy things online because it will say your address doesn't exist. But pretty soon, the USPS database will propagate out to everyone and they'll recognize your address.

I don't know but I suspect that mapping companies use the postal database to get alerted to new addresses, then work them into their map.

That seems to be how it worked for me, based on how my address propagated and the maps started working. At first, before my address propagated, maps just pointed to the end of the road. They recognized the road but not the number. About the time the postal data propagated, maps sorta started working. Since I was one of the first houses on this road, they kind of pointed to the general area of my house, but it took quite a while for them to be accurate. I have the impression that the mapping companies knew my empty road well, then when they got my address they sort of guessed where my lot would be until enough houses were built to either logically pinpoint the houses or they finally sent someone out to check.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:00 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ornery Bob View Post
Back in the day, they were mostly made from aerial photographs taken from planes. Nowadays, it is satellite photos.
It is probably still aerial photos. If you can make out cars and houses the images probably come from airplanes. As you zoom in and out on google maps you can see the source of the images. I you look at St. Louis as you zoom out the source changes form Goolge Map to Landsat.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:40 PM
Interrobang!? Interrobang!? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubaya View Post
Doesn't it start with the Post Office? My house was a new construction too. When a deed is registered, the Post Office is notified and you start getting mail. However, you will probably find that no one else recognizes your address. You can't buy things online because it will say your address doesn't exist. But pretty soon, the USPS database will propagate out to everyone and they'll recognize your address.
Ah, this makes sense, and is probably the answer I was looking for. Makes sense that the post office is the official source of street addresses. I don't know why they didn't occur to me —I was wondering if it was up to local municipalities to maintain individual databases, which sounded like a data nightmare.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:50 PM
GaryM GaryM is offline
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In my area, Warren County Missouri, just west of St. Louis, addresses are assigned by the 911 dispatch center . When we started our house construction I called the post office and was told to call the 911 center. They asked a few questions and in about 10 minutes I had an address. They apparently notify the post office.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2017, 11:18 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Much of it comes from the US Post Office, and then propagates out to others.

The Post Office maintains the National Change of Address database, which is available to lots of companies & organizations who pay the fees to get timely notification of address changes (including new addresses). They use this information to update their mailing lists, so that the letters they mail get delivered. Or they sell a service to smaller mailers to update their lists for them.

I expect that the big mapping companies are subscribers to this database.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:07 AM
dtilque dtilque is offline
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I had a job doing delivery not too long ago. In my experience, it took at least a year for a new street to get into Google's map database. However, real estate listings showed up with a simple google search long before that. Often those had a map that was useful.

The real estate listing didn't have to be for the house I was trying to deliver to; I just needed to find the street. Once there, finding the house was usually no problem.
  #12  
Old 02-10-2017, 08:14 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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In Australia , the Australia Post Office provides the service of address validity checking.

So they have a large database of known street names and street numbers in use. and sell that to clients

So then the mapping people, such as Google or tomtom or navman or garmin , etc, buy this database and check they have each street and a lat and long for each address.

So they have a bunch of addresses pop up as new and unknown, and so they get flagged as needing info... To get the info the obvious method is to get a human to research it.
By hook (hard work - eg finding released street plans ) or by crook (copy someone elses hard work) I guess.

One area that may be automated is to identify streets locations from aerial/satellite imagery . Just load up the picture of the new streets and there's the streets.. This length has this name, that length there has that name .. mouse dragging the name along the length, around this bend, across that intersection, continued with same name after a gap.. etc

Last edited by Isilder; 02-10-2017 at 08:18 AM.
  #13  
Old 02-10-2017, 08:23 AM
Isilder Isilder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ornery Bob View Post
Back in the day, they were mostly made from aerial photographs taken from planes. Nowadays, it is satellite photos.
FALSE. Still aerial. Satellite is ok for major highways but just too distorted and noisy for tightly packed streets. The aeroplane has a far better chance of being below most of the clouds and distortion inducing layers.
  #14  
Old 02-10-2017, 10:40 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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This relationship/business with and by the US Postal Service.

Isn't this akin to the State Department providing for a fee some of your Federal data (I don't know, travel visas) which sounds like a violation of privacy or government profit laws?

Even if it's too "everyone's" mutual benefit--getting mail--data is data and is valuable.

It's both a commercial issue--NASA has all sorts of spelled out laws on what they can profit on, as well as privacy issue--maybe I _want_ to live off of Google's map. The US census, US mail, fine. But that's between me, Uncle Sam, and Cousin US Postal Service.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 02-10-2017 at 10:43 AM.
  #15  
Old 02-10-2017, 11:03 AM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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I'm pretty sure Google uses images from their Street View camera cars to supplement their database and improve accuracy. E.g. reading house numbers and business signs to determine the precise location along the street.
  #16  
Old 02-10-2017, 12:31 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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My son moved to a new development around 2000. I guess a lot has changed in 17 years, but in those days it took about a year before parcel post (and Fed Ex,...) could find him, although he did get ordinary mail deliver immediately (to a community mailbox).
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