Where's the bad address data?

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Where's the bad address data?

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:45 pm

I got an update request today for a user complaining about incorrect routing due to bad address location. The address is "9555 SW Barnes Rd, portland, or" and when I search for it in the editor, it takes me here. (Please do your own search to verify.)

The actual location is here: https://www.waze.com/editor/?zoom=7&lat ... -122.77526.

What is also interesting is that if you enter just the street data "9555 SW Barnes Rd" then the editor will come up with several possible seletions. These selections seems to change based on I don't know what. But most of them get pretty close to the actual location. None of them say "Portland, OR" which is the actual address. Perhaps I should change the segment assigned city...

The problem I have at this point is that I can't figure out where the bad address data is coming from. I've searched bing, google, yahoo, and mapquest. Any ideas out there on where to find and squash this bad data?
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Re: Where's the bad address data?

Postby AlanOfTheBerg » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:31 pm

Thanks for the investigation and ideas guys. I'll try adding alternate names, but also need to verify exactly if this address is in Portland or Beaverton. I think it might be in Portland, but the city attached to segments is incorrect in Waze (legacy data).
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Re: Where's the bad address data?

Postby CBenson » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:07 am

Waze is clearly working on a routine to parse address searches that uses both Google results and Waze results and tries to pick the best one. For address problems, I've had waze give two answers 1) we choose the Google result and it was wrong and 2) we choose the Waze results, but the exact number wasn't found on a segment with the matching city so the result is the closest number on a segment with the matching city. It looks like the second here to me as the problem occurs specifically when you search for the result with Portland, OR.
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Re: Where's the bad address data?

Postby jasonh300 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:53 am

Me and sketch (mostly Sketch) were working one in Baton Rouge similar to this. One thing that he pointed out is that if the search spells out the street name suffix (Drive, Street, Boulevard), the result comes from Google. If it was getting it from the Waze street name data, it would have the suffix abbreviated (assuming the streets are abbreviated properly in the location in question).

I assume he figured this out by matching the results on Google Maps with the results he was getting in the Waze client, but these results came under the Waze tab. Also odd, if you switch to the Google tab, it'll give you the same bad location, but then the street suffix is abbreviated.
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Re: Where's the bad address data?

Postby sketch » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:28 am

Yeah... I had a hell of a time with this. I don't have time tonight, but by tomorrow evening I will explain in detail. Basically, Google had bad data and Waze was using it. It seems that SOME Waze addresses are being used, maybe newer-added ones?, and some aren't (my house, one of the first I added). Otherwise, addresses are provided by Google where they used to be provided by Bing, i.e., presented as "Waze" results.
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Re: Where's the bad address data?

Postby sketch » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:34 pm

Okay... this is something different than my scenario in Baton Rouge. There, it was simply bad data from Google, verifiable on Google, and fixed using Google.

This is an example of the second thing CBenson said, yeah. Look at the westernmost segment of SW Barnes Rd in Portland, open up the House Numbers. The next segment to the west is in West Haven-Sylvan, so Waze assumes that any number higher than 6600 or so in Portland is crammed into the end of that segment.

You might be able to solve it by adding "SW Barnes Rd" in "Portland" as an alt name, but really what needs to happen is the search engine needs to be tweaked. Waze can't cram dozens of blocks of house numbers into ten feet of road just because a user's search city doesn't match up correctly. If SW Barnes only goes to 6700 in Portland and there's a 9555 in a neighboring city, search needs to be more forgiving and look at the neighboring city.

edit There's a marked difference in the search between the production and beta editors, btw. Beta is more willing to use Waze house numbers -- try 7155 Florida Blvd in Baton Rouge -- but production is not unwilling -- see the same bad result for "9555 sw barnes rd, portland or". Also, try searching "portland or" in either -- production gives you downtown, like Google might, while beta gives you what Waze considers the geographical center of Portland, I guess. Try the same with "new orleans la" -- production brings you downtown, beta brings you way out to New Orleans East, because most of the population of New Orleans is concentrated in the western part of the city.

Searching just "9555 sw barnes rd" in production gives a few different results, like you said -- the one in Beaverton always shows up and always gives the right location.

If the map is somewhere to the east of the correct location when you search, the result "9555 SW Barnes Rd, Portland, OR" will also show up in both editors, it seems. This gives the same incorrect location as you linked.

If the map is somewhere to the west of the correct location when you search, the result "9555 SW Barnes Rd, West Haven-Sylvan, OR" will also show up in both editors. This gives a location which is also incorrect, but closer to the right one, on the highest-numbered segment of SW Barnes marked as being in West Haven-Sylvan. It's doing the same thing as before, but since West Haven-Sylvan is a lot closer, it's not as incorrect.

Now here's the difference: if the map is somewhere to the west of the correct location when you search, only in the production editor, an additional result is shown: "9555 Southwest Barnes Road, Portland, OR 97225". This is clearly from Google with its zip code and spelled out words and such -- and it brings you to the correct location.

I don't know what direction this is moving in, but Waze needs to change its game a little bit here. I can't move my client to Portland, so I can't tell what search would give me if I just searched "9555 sw barnes rd", but searching "9555 sw barnes rd, portland or" gives me the wrong location just like both editors do. City lines are not so hard and fast with street addresses.
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Re: Where's the bad address data?

Postby sketch » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:41 pm

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