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I have been experimenting with geolocation, and the geolocation API, and I ran into a strange issue that I have not been able to work around other than to use a different provider (Yandex in this case because it too does not require an API key). I was encoding about 60 named locations in the format "city state", such as "buffalo new york", and ran into a problem. For the places I was encoding, the few I verified appeared to be correct when referencing the first returned geolocation record except for a place called "Middleville, New York". Middleville, New York is a village in upstate New York, in the county of Herkimer with a ZIP code of 13406. However, the first record returned from the web site and the geolocation is API is for a small place here on Long Island that is named "Middleville" but is really in Fort Solonga, NY with a ZIP code of 11768. If I were to send mail to Middleville, NY it would go to upstate New York not here on Long Island.

My question is why does OpenStreetMaps give priority to a non-postal location over and official postal location? When I check Google, Bing and Mapquest for Middleville, NY, the first record returned if the official postal location. When I go to, the first location returned is the Fort Solonga location here on Long Island. Is there any way to alter the priority of the returned data when only the city and state are queried?

asked 17 Oct '18, 15:27

Aardvark's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 20 Oct '18, 18:43

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


note that it is OpenStreetMap but not OpenStreetMaps! :-)

(20 Oct '18, 18:44) aseerel4c26 ♦

I've asked the Nominatim dev for input on this, but please make your question title more descriptive of the actual question (result priority in Nominatim).

Note that there is no prioritisation based on if the location has a post code added in OSM or not (that would also likely not make sense), but it could be expected that place=village would take precedence over a place=hamlet (that could have unexpected consequences though).

(23 Oct '18, 15:24) SimonPoole ♦

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question asked: 17 Oct '18, 15:27

question was seen: 882 times

last updated: 23 Oct '18, 15:24

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum