This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more about how to manage cookies, or dismiss this message and continue to use cookies.

Street address does not show in any GPS

edited November -1 in GPS Discussions

Several years ago the Santa Barbara Fire Dept. required that our private, rural road receive an official street name and addresses for the properties along it.

The U.S. Post office assures me they input this new address into their data base.

However, our street does not appear in any GPS data base anywhere. (It is Via Rancheros Road, Santa Ynez, CA 93460).

Question: what is the process for getting a new address into the world's GPS data bases?




  • dhn 328 Points
    You can report it directly to TeleAtlas, supplier to TomTom here:

    And hope it gets implemented in a near future map.
  • Thx. I went there but it requires an existing address. This road didn't exist officially until recently, and it still is not a county or city road, although it is recognized by the post office and fire department.

    How do completely new streets/roads get into the world's GPS data bases? There must be some standard method by which this is accomplished. I would guess it would be the country's post offices that would create the "official" addresses. But who would actually locate, i.e. draw, the new streets/roads on a map?


  • I've checked several websites (as you probably have) including Navteq, but it doesn't show up. Do you have GPS coordinates of where the road is physically located?
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    To report Navteq map omissions and errors go to

    The maps used in our personal gps devices are developed by private mapping suppliers, primarily Navteq and TeleAtlas. Getting user-submitted changes implemented in either one can sometimes be pretty frustrating. The good news is that with the recent US Census now complete, that location data gathered at the same time by their canvassers will soon be in the public domain and likely picked up by the two big map suppliers. There's a good chance we could all see some significant map updates in the near future.
  • Thx.

    I'll do that with both.

    But...there are new streets being created all over the U.S. and the rest of the world every do they get into these data bases? It would seem to rely on people like me would be pretty inefficient. Isn't there some way that once an address is "official", i.e. a jurisdiction officially recognizes it as an address, that is communicated to some official central agency, for example, in the U.S. the U.S. Postal Service, and they manage a primary source data base used by these private companies?

    Or, is it something else?


  • gatorguy 224 Points
    Much of the underlying data is submitted or picked up from various city, county and state agencies. The Federal gov't also developed what is called TIGER data and the associated maps, gleaned from the 1990 US Census. With that mapset now retired and no longer officially available, a new one is slated for early 2011. That's the one that I think will add significant data for the map suppliers to absorb.

    I'd take a stab at a better answer, but there's someone here who can answer with more authority and clarity. Tim, our favorite forum administrator, will probably be by soon to post better details. :)
  • Tim 1466 Points
    TIt would seem to rely on people like me would be pretty inefficient.
    And you would be right. :) They rely on a number of sources for data like that. In some cases there are agreements in place with local planning boards, etc to provide notification of changes. Other sources are doing simple things like searching news sites (like for articles mentioning "new street", "changed to one way", "new development" etc. All of those sources (and many more types) provide leads which they can then follow up on for actual field verification and mapping.
    Isn't there some way that once an address is "official", i.e. a jurisdiction officially recognizes it as an address, that is communicated to some official central agency, for example, in the U.S. the U.S. Postal Service, and they manage a primary source data base used by these private companies?
    That might be nice, but it just doesn't happen that way-- the government doesn't work with the private mapping companies quite in that way. Without getting into a political debate, the government probably feels they can better utilize their time rather than trying to appease these private mapping companies with their data. The mapping companies have much more data to collect about the roads than the USPS collects so a field visit is required anyhow. And just because the government calls it "official" doesn't mean it is always correct.

    Most emergency service providers I've had discussions with rely on mapping from these private digital mapping providers. For example, Tele Atlas, one of the major digital mapping companies, claims they provide the vast majority of 911 centers their mapping data.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    Google maps couldn't find your address either. But it did find a Realtor with an address on your road. When I zoomed in, it showed a push-pin for the realtor that wasn't on any road.
  • Thx everyone for all the help.

    Yes, we are truly lost in space! I sent a request to Navteq over a year ago, and never heard anything. I just followed up with them. And I sent a request over to Teleatlas as suggested in this forum.

    It seems like a pretty sketchy approach to keeping databases up to date, and is especially surprising since new streets are created continually and so many important uses of the data are made, e.g. shippers of all stripes, emergency personnel, etc.

    I use GPS primarily in the airplanes I fly. Needless to say, our GPS data is extremely centralized and buttoned down, and this "system" of updating changes to road, streets, etc. seems to be remarkably unlikely to keep up with changes very efficiently.

    Anyway, thx for the help, and if there is anything else I can do to resolve this, pls let me know.

  • Keep in mind that even if (or when) your streets make it into a GPS map set, the addresses won't be exact.

    There's just not enough room in a GPS device for actual lot address information, but they know which block is which and estimate proportionally from that.

    My house is the end of my block, address is 4035, but if you put 4035 into a GPS search it locates you about a third of the way up the block from the other end. The thing has to accomodate going all the way to 4099, and it has no actual "this number is here" information. All it knows is that this is the 4000 block, and I tell friends looking for it to use 4099, or the intersection with the cross street.
  • gatorguy 224 Points
    But try pulling up your address on Google Maps. . .

    Better than even chance that you'll be dead on where it's supposed to be. Google is using actual lot boundaries and addresses where available. So there's a chance that one day specific addresses may be much more accurate in a pnd.
  • Boyd 1853 Points
    True. I live in the woods, way back off the road in a landlocked property with access via a private right of way. None of the online maps could find my address when I moved there in 2006. Now Google maps zero's right in on my actual house - out in the woods - when I do a search.

    Of course, it's one thing to do this when the database is stored on Google's servers. PND's have limited CPU and storage available, so we may not see this kind of thing for a few more years on a standalone (non connected) unit.
  • Same reply as Boyd, basically. Yes, Google Maps has lot boundaries and actual addresses, but their database(s) won't fit my GPS receiver. Yet.

    While we're at it, why not Street Views on my GPS screen? :D

    I wanted to be really smart-alec and post a screen shot of the Google campus from Google Earth and say that this doesn't fit on my dashboard, but I don't wanna get banned for excessive sarcasm. :wink:
Sign In or Register to comment.
↑ Top