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OpenStreetMaps is unusable in the United States

I'll start off by saying my US postal street address IS in Houston, Texas.  Google maps works properly with US postal addresses.

OpenStreetMaps has a huge problem, in that if I use 'Houston' as my City, the API returns an 'address not found' error.  If I use the name of my neighborhood, the OpenStreetMaps API correctly find my location.  Why OpenStreetMaps decided to geocode addresses in this way, is anyone's guess. but it's flat-out wrong... at least for use in the United States.  If this error exists for my location in Houston, Texas, it surely exists for many other major metropolitan areas across the US.  Therefore, plain and simply, OpenStreetMaps is not a viable locations provider for US based addresses,  I can't speak to its viability for other areas of the globe.

That leaves Google.  I hate Google.  I would sooner slam my head in a car door than count on Google for something.  What say you folks at Una, work on a Mapquest integration?  Andrew Boon

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Replies (24)
    • I am having the same issue. OpenStreetMaps is just poor. It doesn't recognize many street addresses and zip/postal codes. That's why it's free. It is maintained and updated by volunteers. A lot of information is either missing or outdated. This is a serious issue for a community-based website. It will also be frustrating for many members when they will see their address not being recognized by the UNA site. 

      So far, Google Map is the best out there but it can get way too expensive.

      I am kinda lost too. I am looking forward to another Map integration that really works!

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      • MapQuest is pretty poor for Australia, from what I can tell... is it any good for US?

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        • If you're ok to use a map to point a location (instead of providing an address manually) then you can look at the Location Picker.

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          • Mapquest doesn't give the detail that Google does, but the street mapping is pretty good.  Mapquest does properly locate a street address and OSM does not,  I feel the same about Bing/MS as I do Google

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            • Can it use Google without using the API?

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              • No, but it can use OSM map instead of Google. I.e. a user can point a location directly on a map by placing/dragging a location marker instead of typing an address manually.

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                • Hi Andrew.

                  Here are 5 Powerful Alternatives to Google Maps API and they are cost-effective:

                  1. OpenLayers

                  2. TomTom

                  3. Mapbox (Facebook and Snapchat's choice for mapping needs)

                  4. HERE

                  5. Mapfit

                  Please have a look to this very informative article: 

                  nordicapis[dot]com/5-powerful-alternatives-to-google-maps-api/

                  Maybe you should consider integrating one or more of them with UNA.

                  I would rather pay a reasonable fee to run an affordable map service with UNA than rely on Free map providers. Most of them are just jokes!


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                  • The reason I asked, is that the URL embed using embedly gives this result:

                    image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=5096&dpx=1&t=1620849998I pasted the URL from a Google map search for Madison Square Garden, and the embed is perfect. If we had a way to pick the URL using your location picker, and the just embedding the URL in this manner, it would eliminate the need to use the Google API, thus no month;y limits on API calls and 100% free.

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                      • Live example above.

                        Embedded maps might not work for everyone, but it's perfect for my application in marking locations of events. Mapping the location of members is a bit intrusive in my opinion, so I won't be doing that.  Organizations would be another use of a location map.  Either one of these needs would be served just fine by an embedded map.

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                        • Embedded maps are generated from a link that Google Maps gives you when you perform a search manually. Effectively API is the way to do the same thing programmatically, so unless you encourage users to actually get a link from Gmaps themselves we would still have to use the API. 

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                          • Do you believe it is impossible to use the location input fields to construct a Google maps url to pass on to embedly?

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                            • For example:  https://www.google.com/maps/place/1600+Pennsylvania+Avenue+Washington+DC

                              1600+Pennsylvania+Avenue+Washington+DC (From input fields)


                              Result

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                              • Yep, API is the way to go. it will make things seamless to members. IMHO, it's far better than the embedded solution.

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                                • By the way, Andrew, have you seen my reply about 5 Powerful Alternatives to Google Maps API above? Thanks

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                                  • It depends on the application. Suppose you had a location map on an event page, and that page was loaded 100,000 times in a single day... maybe more.  It could be problematic as far as API requests

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                                    • Yes I understand where you're coming from. Although Google said All Maps Embed API requests are free with unlimited usage, there are still other usage limits. For a small site, I think you are good to go but once your site starts growing and getting high traffic, this solution might not work for you.

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                                      • is there a way to omit street number and zip code for Persons and make it optional for Organizations?

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                                        • Live example above.

                                          Embedded maps might not work for everyone, but it's perfect for my application in marking locations of events. Mapping the location of members is a bit intrusive in my opinion, so I won't be doing that.  Organizations would be another use of a location map.  Either one of these needs would be served just fine by an embedded map.

                                          Embed will not work in this situation, since we need to geocode address to save latitude and longitude coordinates, OSM map should work fine if address is geocoded properly. So I think we need to make some correction in the code to properly geolocate addresses - I think if address can't be found then we need to geocode by City or Zip at least, so make it possible to submit the address and have some approximate geolocation - https://github.com/unaio/una/issues/3401

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                                          • Hello Alex T⚜️  Thanks a lot. Yes Please please geocode it by City or Zip or whatever else. A workaround or plan 'B' is urgently needed. This location issue was already driving me nut. It's very frustrating and a business killer. We all know that OSM is poor but having many addresses not being found is not good for UNA sites at all. I always suspected that there could be something to do in the programming. Thanks for coming up with your idea.

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                                            • By the way, Andrew Boon Alex T⚜️ LeonidS , have you seen my reply about 5 Powerful Alternatives to Google Maps API above? What do you think? Thanks

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                                              • By the way, Andrew Boon Alex T⚜️ LeonidS , have you seen my reply about 5 Powerful Alternatives to Google Maps API above? What do you think? Thanks

                                                Actually we've already added support for alternative maps, by default we support only free alternatives.

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                                                • Issue with geocoding was fixed in UNA 12.1.0

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                                                  • Alex T⚜️ is there a way to only request the city (as with Google) instead of 6 fields? Thanks.

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