OSM address search unusable in USA

I’m a long-time OSM editor who got away from it for a while, and want to come back. I installed some Android OSM navigation apps, and found them all to be useless because they couldn’t find my house.

In Nominatim, searching my address does find the road (http://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/details.php?place_id=7295959017), but it can’t figure out a town or city to associate with it. Legally, my house is in the incorporated city of Peachtree Corners as of 2 years ago. A point for this does exist, imported from TIGER before it was incorporated as a city with borders (http://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/details.php?place_id=418655). But regardless, my mailing address is “Duluth”, which doesn’t show up anywhere on the hierarchy. (Duluth is a nearby incorporated city, and is the preferred city name in addresses for the western third of the county according to US Postal Service.)

In OsmAnd, a city is required for searching, so without a city, I can’t find my address. (Telling it to search in nearby neighborhoods didn’t work either.)

Let’s try my dad’s house (http://nominatim.openstreetmap.org/details.php?place_id=48380691). This is more correct, because the house is actually in the unincorporated municipality of Keene. But again, the mailing address is Nicholasville, a city which serves as the county seat and the city name in mailing addresses for all of Jessamine County.

Oh, but wait… I’d already tagged the street with the city (http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/42057780, which has an addr:city tag). So why doesn’t it work?

In general, trying to use OSM in the USA is extremely frustrating. I want to help OSM get better, but without basic things like “find a point on a map given an address”, it has little value for me. What can I do to get these kinds of things to work they way they ought to?

Only a partial answer as I’ve been unable to find a search that actually works on OsmAnd, but if you scroll to the bottom of the cities list there is an option to enter a name (hamlet or place name) or postal code. Unfortunately those don’t seem to show your street when I use the obvious choices. I’ll look some more at both your area’s tagging and at OsmAnd to see what might be done to improve the area.

Please accept my apology for the first curt answer, other duties cut me short.

I’ve loaded the Georgia state database into my Android phone and have tried a couple of searches and then looked at the area using JOSM. I am far from an expert on this and I haven’t got a clue to how OsmAnd does its search function. Obviously is it less robust than Nominatim. But I’ll give you my guesses.

It looks like Scotts Mill is a “hamlet” marked by a single node in the OSM database. Nominatim finds your street using Scotts Mill as the “city” but OsmAnd does not. I am guessing that OsmAnd is using a smaller search radius for its search limit as it does find some other streets closer to the node. If you know the official boundaries of the Scotts Mill hamlet you might be able to create an hamlet administrative area for it which should make the name search work.

You should also be able find the address using the ZIP code too. But OsmAnd is leaping to the conclusion that ZIP code 30096 can only be 30096-4590 with only one street (Satellite Blvd) where a restaurant is. Apparently it is not looking at the tiger:zip_left and tiger:zip_right tags on your street. You might be able to correct that by adding addr:interpolation ways along the street. And putting the “city” into the address interpolation would probably be a reasonable idea too.

With the above, I suspect that your street will be found by OsmAnd.

Unfortunately they only update their files once or twice a month, so unless you are willing to go through the setup and learning experience to generate your own database files, it will be a little while from the time you make the changes until you can test them.

For what it is worth, the manufacturer of my car’s navigation system only sends out updates once a year and they are expensive (multiple hundreds of dollars). And even with newish data, with lots of things that were corrected on OSM a long time ago are wrong. And its routing algorithm is worse than OsmAnd’s. I’ve taken to using OsmAnd for my car navigation. If the search function does not work I simply scroll the map to the desired place and do a long touch to bring up options to navigate to the point. And then I make a note to look into why OsmAnd could not search for the place. And using OsmAnd as I drive I find a number of errors that I would not notice otherwise (missing speed limits, wanting to us an exit/on ramp combination rather than stay on the main road, etc.) that I then add to my personal “fix list”.