How to modify a mistaken postal code geolocation

My client is the Quebec government health insurance agency called RAMQ which has a lovely interface for finding a point of service using a map Trouver un point de service | Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) . There’s a mistaken record in openstreetmap pertaining to town with a postal code “JOX 1E0” that is physically in the government of Québecs jurisdiction that according to openstreetmap is in Prescott Russel Ontario. This is a mistake of about 130 kilometers from the true location which is inside of Québecs borders and is NOT actually in Ontario. People from this QC town called Bouchette are complaining that they cannot find service points in their area and we have discoverted that it is because the data from openstreetmap is incorrect.

Here is the mistaken entry:

Next is the fixed entry, it was created but the modification was closed , apparently by me, but I don’t recall closing it and none of my Quebec government colleagues are able to modify or update the existing entry.

This above entry was closed, we need this approved and the incorrect Ontario entry which is linked previous above to be deleted.

How does one go about getting modification and submission /publishing privileges?

Hello @Joseph_Olstad

First, welcome to OpenStreetMap, and thanks for reaching out on the forums.

Second, as much as I like OpenStreetMap, I would not use it to identify a single location for a postcode. The address data in OpenStreetMap is incomplete. Certainly, the government of Quebec has much better and more complete postcode data that you could use. For example, OSM only has 9 features tagged addr:postcode=J0X 1E0, when I would guess that there are several thousand houses and businesses that have this postcode in reality.

Third, you need no special permission to edit OSM. All you need is a valid email address to create an account. It looks like you have done this, and made at least one edit. As someone else has pointed out, “changesets” are closed normally when the edit is submitted. However, you can simply create a new changeset by editing the map in the same manner you did with previous edits.

Fourth, I think this is what is happening. According to the Nominatim documentation:

  • Postcodes. Nominatim returns a postcode point created from all mapped postcodes of the same name. The class and type of these object is place=postcdode. No osm_type and osm_id are included in the result.[0]

In other words, it is doing something like taking the average location of all addresses that have the indicated postcode. If the boundary one is concerned with, that of Quebec in this case is concave - which Quebec’s boundary is - one can end up with the center outside of it, even if all of the address points are inside Quebec. This is not ideal, but it works in most cases.

All of the OSM features with postcode J0X 1E0 are inside of Quebec:

Nevertheless, I suspect that the features to the east that are tagged with this postcode are wrong, and fixing them would fix Nominatim once Nominatim updates.

Welcome, nice to learn this government health insurance agency is using OSM.

On the changeset that you listed, that is adding the post code to node 3228734521:


If the search was first finding another location, this change is not enough, also the post code of that other location should be remove/fixed.

I see there is a Bouchette area that has also the postcode and was also changed 24 days ago.

If that is all correct, things can still not work because people might have to sync the data, i.e. they are running with old data.

@emvee please refer to this screenshot, there’s clearly an entry in / nominatum that has the j0x 1e0 in the wrong province (ontario is incorrect) , j0x 1e0 is in Québec.

Okay, I had a better look but came to the conclusion that I really do not understand the usage of “addr:postcode” in Canada but I can see where the “confusion” of Nomination comes from:

Overpass search for "addr:postcode=“J0X 1E0”

It would be better to move this topic to the Canada category to clean up the mess.

ok thanks so much for this, I was able to make a postal code change with the hyperlink that was provided. overpass turbo by following the pencils on the items. I no longer see the vast many mistaken entries.

Hmm, it’s not fixed yet, maybe some time needs to happen to flush out caches.

last week when I was debugging it was pulling out prescott russel in the data. I’ll follow up next week and see.