The street where you live

7 Jun


The State of the Map conference is happening this weekend here in San Francisco. In honor of that, some facts about the world’s places courtesy of Open Street Maps enormous pile of data. We’ve been processing ~28,000,000 entries as part of named entity recognition (10,000,000 unique place names, but the conventions of the data mean that what is essentially one highway could be in there multiple times as it crosses various geographic boundaries).

  • There are more 2nd Streets than 1st Streets (this is because in many places the “1st” street is known as the “Main” street). There are 2.8 times as many 2nd Streets as 2nd Avenues.
  • Most numbers have a street or avenue associated with them: 1st, 2nd, 3rd…99th…237th…all the way up to 488th Street, then there start to be gaps (is there something wrong with 489th, 494th, 496th, and 498th streets?). The biggest hole is probably between 3200th Street and 4400th. Nowheresville is made up of those streets.
  • Btw, Open Street Maps tells us there are Nowhere Roads in 10 different zip codes. But, uh, most of these are in the South. Actually, 5 of them are in Georgia.
  • There are 11 times as many places with “Circle” in them as with “Square”. My favorite is probably ხალხთა მეგობრობის მოედანი (“Khalkhta Megbroba Square”, well, “Friendship Square” in Georgia. But the other Georgia. Isn’t Georgian script cool?)
  • There are lots of tree streets: Oak, Pine, Elm, Maple, Walnut, Cedar, Chestnut, Cherry, Ash, Birch, Poplar. There are almost twice as many Willow Creeks as Willow Streets.
  • There are quite a few Pleasant Streets. If that bores you, may I suggest Evil Avenue in St. Clair, Illinois? Or point you towards Mount Evil in Tennessee?

– Tyler Schnoebelen (@TSchnoebelen)



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