I've added a few addresses to buildings in my city, but the process is quite tedious, and I would like to make it less time consuming.

I'd like to be able to use my phone while walking around, and be able to tap on a building, then type in the house numbers, have it intelligently suggest the street, and be able to OK this suggestion with a single tap. Ideally the app would be able to work offline, after downloading at home from Wifi, and uploading when back at home. Is there an app that is capable of this?

I have an Android phone (Running 5.1), but feel free to provide recommendations for iOS users who may be reading this.

asked 28 Mar '17, 20:31

keithonearth's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

I looked into a few options myself, and wanted to post what I found.


This is the most flexible, gives the most control, and the addresses are added with relatively few steps. It does require preparation before (with a data connection) and after editing to upload the changes. It allows the user to specify the edit summary and the source tags for the changeset. It is the most compatible in features to a desktop client.

steps to add address: preparation: 3; per address: 5 to 6; upload: 5


This takes by far the most number of steps, only allows the addition of nodes, not adding addresses to the building itself (I often want to add it to the building). It requires adding the street names in full, unlike the others who show a list or auto-complete. This makes typos easier to make, as well as slowing the process down significantly. It requires no preparation before starting editing, but requires the most steps to upload the info, yet does not allow the user to enter a source tag for the edit.

This seems to be the least efficient, and least flexible of the three. I do not recommend using it for editing.

I like it as a map app, and often have it open on my phone. As such I often use it to add notes for later edits from my computer, and it works pretty well for that.

steps to add address: preparation: 0; per address: 10; upload: 8


This was by far the most simple and efficient way to add addresses. While it's not as flexible as others, I'm not looking for flexibility here, just a quick way to add addresses. It does allow addresses to be added to the building trace, or the addition of nodes. It requires no preparation to start editing. It provides the user a list of streets chose from when adding the addr:street tag. It (for better or worse) auto uploads the changeset w/o any need for action on the part of the user with an auto-generated edit summary, and no source noted.

steps to add address: preparation: 0; per address: 7; upload: 0

Paper and ink

To test these apps I wrote down some local addresses on paper, and then played around with the apps when I was at home, so I wasn't standing on the street trying to figure out how to use these apps. In all honesty to write down the addresses on paper and add them with JOSM probably ends up being the easiest approach when adding a couple dozen addresses.

An additional note to you app developers out there, why does no one change my keyboard to a numeric one when adding a addr:housenumber tag? This would take away a long-press, and be really slick.

permanent link

answered 16 Apr '17, 19:49

keithonearth's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 16 Apr '17, 20:48

How do you get to 7 steps to add an address with vespucci? I get

1) long-press to add a node or select an existing object. 2) press the "add address" button. 3) exit (the automatically opened with the address tags added) property editor.

Which in my book is 3, not 7, steps. Now you do have to add the house numbers for the first two numbers on each side of the street, but you can amortize that over the whole street so this should at worst be a fraction of a step per number.

(16 Apr '17, 20:37) SimonPoole ♦

Hi Simon.

I took detailed notes, but then decided this post would be too long if I included all the steps.

Here's what I got for Vespucci: 1) tap building outline, 2) tap "42" icon, 3) switch to numerical keyboard 4) enter house number 5) change street name if needed 6) tap back arrow. I also had a "tap on building in list" step, but that only came up once, now that I think about it, the first time I did it. Maybe because I was too close to tapping on two buildings it wanted to clarify which one. And changing the street name only needs to be done occasionally, so maybe I shouldn't include that step either. I'll update the original post.

Maybe I'm breaking the steps down more than necessary, but I think that those details make a big difference when doing the same steps over and over.

(16 Apr '17, 20:46) keithonearth

In general as said you only need to add house numbers twice per side, except for weird topologies, as the address prediction should take it from there.

Street names: there is a certain (currently not configurable) distance that the position needs to be away from the last street used before it recalculates based on a new nearest street. There are some ideas how to make that less irritating (for example when you are just dropping quickly in to a turn off) here: https://github.com/MarcusWolschon/osmeditor4android/issues/549

(16 Apr '17, 21:00) SimonPoole ♦

I'm not sure what you mean by only need to add house numbers twice per side? It auto-completes, based on the difference between the two that have already been added?

(16 Apr '17, 22:28) keithonearth

Yes and on already existing numbers, see http://vespucci.io/help/en/Introduction/#editing-with-vespucci for more infomation (scroll down a bit).

(16 Apr '17, 22:33) SimonPoole ♦

Hi @SimonPoole, I've tried to take advantage of the auto-complete feature that you were mentioning. Unfortunately I didn't find it reliably gave a useful result. In fact out of the 26 addresses I added with this edit it only guessed right once or twice. (perhaps the numbering scheme my city uses isn't well supported) The other times I had to edit the values it entered, house number but also often the street name. This made it more work for me.

As such I feel that, despite its many shortcomings, and the shortcomings of many of its users, Maps.me is the best choice to add addresses to buildings. I doubt it is a good choice for many other tasks. It is a very simple app, but for a simple task that's good.

(30 May '17, 19:21) keithonearth

@keithonearth vespucci -predicts- the next number it doesn't guess, doing that reliably naturally requires at least a semi-sane numbering scheme (gaps are not an issue, but no regularity at all is), which seems to be missing where you live (most of the world that actually has western style numbering is -not- like that).

(30 May '17, 21:19) SimonPoole ♦

@SimonPoole, thanks for the response. Vespucci is a great program, I do not mean to sound like I am disparaging it.

When I said it "guesses" I didn't mean it literally. I meant it follows some logarithm to come up with a prediction. In my case the prediction was almost always wrong. The numbering system here is not conducive to a logarithm accurately predicting the next number. It would be more useful for me if the app recognized when this logarithm was not succeeding, and stopped making predictions. This would make data entry easier for me, and less error prone. (A couple of times I failed to note that it'd predicted the street wrong, and uploaded a couple of errors, since fixed)

(09 Jun '17, 03:43) keithonearth
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

I've used KepadMapper 3 a lot but I now prefer OSMAnd+ with the Editor Plugin. Ist not faster but more accurate, you can set your poi on the map and export your changeset for further editing in josm. Sady issues on github for this plugin get ignored but it ist still the most valueable survey tool for me.

permanent link

answered 29 Mar '17, 07:33

Ogmios's gravatar image

accept rate: 25%

Simply use Vespucci see http://vespucci.io/ address prediction and so on, no re-entering at home and other broken work flows.

permanent link

answered 29 Mar '17, 23:32

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 29 Mar '17, 23:35

In the past there have been KeypadMapper and Keypad-Mapper 3. Both are unmaintained now, the first one isn't available via the play store and the second one has privacy issues (and isn't available for my country in the play store, no idea why though).

As an alternative I suggest to record a GPX track with text or voice notes. This can be done by using OSMTracker for Android and probably other apps. Later at home you can load your track and notes in JOSM, add the addresses based on these notes and upload them to OSM.

permanent link

answered 28 Mar '17, 20:55

scai's gravatar image

scai ♦
accept rate: 23%

Thanks for your answer scai. Have you used either of the keypadmapper apps recently? Would you say that the fact that they are unmaintained is an issue? Gerneraly I do not use unmaintained software.

(28 Mar '17, 21:28) keithonearth

FWIW, the source code for the older version of KeypadMapper2 is available and it is really easy to compile. That is my tool of choice for gathering address data on my "address walkabouts". I guess I could put my privately built version of KeypadMapper2 someplace others can get it but then you'd have to trust me more than I'd trust others for apps I put on my phone.

One issue with the old version of KeypadMapper2 is that it is a pain to enter the street name. So I also run OSMtracker and take photos of the street signs along the way.

Once back at my computer I verify/correct the street names in OSM then align the KeypadMapper address nodes to the actual buildings using Bing imagery, add the city and street names to each address node and then upload. For that the computer time is probably only 10 or 15 minutes. If I continue on to trace building outlines, add driveways, etc. using my field notes and Bing then the editing session can become much longer.

(28 Mar '17, 21:31) stf
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported

Question tags:


question asked: 28 Mar '17, 20:31

question was seen: 1,469 times

last updated: 09 Jun '17, 03:43

powered by OSQA