In a unusual show of openness, the province makes its raw civic address data freely downloadable. You can always grab the latest copy of the 65,000 addresses in the province, along with the latitude and longitude of each one (there’s no personally identifying information in the data — it’s just street number, street name, community, county and coordinates).
As you might imagine, this is not only a Good Thing, but it has the power to enable all sorts of interesting applications based around the data.
To help push this sort of application development along, I’m releasing some open source scripts that make using the data easier.
The first of these is a PHP script that automates the process of downloading the civic address data into a MySQL database. If you’ve got access to a machine with PHP and MySQL, you can grab the script and have your own copy of the civic address database running in a few minutes.
The idea is that, like Google Suggest, as you type the address possible matches for what you’ve typed are displayed, and you can select one of these with your mouse or with arrow keys and the TAB key.
The script doesn’t actually do anything with the data once you’ve selected an address — there’s where you fill in your own magic.
Both scripts are have been only lightly tested. There’s complete information in the Rukapedia (data import \| AJAX lookup) about how to install and use them. Both are released under the GNU Public License.
Comments and suggestions welcome.