When you’re on the leading edge of things you always have a problem: dirty data. And the quest for clean data is always at the forefront of your mind. Last night while searching for a geocoding service which didn’t suck outside the US and major EU countries I cane upon this article which put into words the stormy mood that had been brewing whilst I struggled in my quest: Geocoding, Data Quality and ETL. I know geocoding is outside my normal sphere of writings, but the way technology is going some of you are going to eventually have to work with geocoding at some point.
And the bottom line is this: While we now have the tools and techniques necessary for getting the job done right, It’s going to be a long time until we actually get it right. It’s just one of those things that takes a lot of time, money, and manpower to accomplish.
That being said… I wonder how difficult it would be to mashup, say, Google Earth and current cartographic services to specifically draw attention to problem areas, and to setup as an automatic alert for new expansion (or demolition for that matter?!) Not being my area of expertise I’d be hard pressed to get that right, at least without some insider help anyhow. But I’d be willing to bet that it would prove a valuable tool for the geospacial community. And make no mistake about it: the better they are at doing what they do the easier it is for you to find the newest starbucks.