OpenAddresses is starting 2015 with a bang: all together, OpenAddresses now contains more than 100 million address points! It was just last June that we celebrated collecting 30 million addresses. The project’s growth has only accelerated since then.
It’s been particularly exciting to watch OpenAddresses expand beyond the US. There are plenty of national and regional governments that either publish open data or are preparing to. We’ve been surprised to find how effective simply asking a government about open data can be. In Australia alone it uncovered about 2.7 million addresses.
The 100 million-point milestone reflects a lot of great work, from Ben Welsh’s dogged efforts FOIAing California data to Waldo Jaquith’s success working with Virginia’s government, to help understanding Poland’s geodata law from ePaństwo’s Magda Siwanowicz, to Albert Bowden scouring e911 data for addresses, to Joe Larson digging into custom Norwegian file formats, to Ian Dees, Nelson Minar and Mike Migurski’s work on the project’s internals, to our own Nick Ingalls’ tireless efforts merging PRs. And this is a very incomplete list.
This work is important because address data is an essential ingredient for geocoding. Until recently, address data was usually closed, making geocoding expensive and legally complicated. Growing the world’s store of open addresses is a step toward solving that problem.