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It also differs dramatically between regions, since the local governments may have varying amounts of data publicly available.

For example, many cities in OSM have virtually perfect address geocoding because some random person pestered their local government to openly release a dump of addresses and their coordinates, whereas Google is just guessing at house numbers.

OSM does not rely on imports that much, many cities have fantastic geocoding potential because local mappers poured their sweat and local knowledge into it. ;)

I think you'll find that without a data import, address data tends to be forgotten by many mappers. Compare Chicago, which did have a bulk data import, with San Francisco, which did not. In Chicago, every house number and building is mapped, but in SF you'd have to interpolate the numbers.

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