• I do not own any device or technology to read an “e-book”.
  • My phone is four and a half years old, most apps don’t work on it and I can no longer upgrade to newer versions of the operating system. This is not that big a problem as I have only three or four apps installed to begin with.
  • I type with basically four fingers, and not particularly quickly.
  • Nothing in my home could in any way be considered a part of the internet of things.
  • I do not have any devices to monitor my heart rate or really any aspect of my physical well being.
  • I do not play video games.
  • When I want to know what time it is I look at my analog wrist watch.
  • I do not truly understand how a computer works,

And yet …

my colleagues and I are embarking on a new digital project, we are creating a service that lets anyone with minimal tech skills geocode the world: the OpenCage Geocoder.

This will not be easy. The world is a crazy place and geographic names reflect that. Users expect perfection, and it’s not very hard to find examples that make any geocoder look foolish. Gary captured the nuances of the challenge well.

We’re a small team. Very small in that it’s myself (and not even all of my time) and Marc Tobias and bits and pieces of other people’s time now that Gary has left us, so obviously we’ll have to work smart. It’s possible only because our service isn’t actually a geocoder so much as it’s a geocoder aggregator. We provide a single API to many different open geocoders, all the usual suspects and Nestoria’s. Hopefully we can add more, especially country specific geocoders. 

Aggregation is a game we know from Nestoria. It’s far from trivial to do well. We know this will be a long slow journey. We’re starting. Start here if you want to join us.