Roll-your-own geocoding with OpenStreetMap Nominatim on Amazon EC2

Sometimes you need to geocode a few addresses, and while Google is obviously the gold standard, the Google Maps API conditions are quite strict – you are supposed only to geocode addresses you will be displaying in conjunction with a Google map. That’s no use for bulk / backend geocoding, the kind you might do for analysis purposes.


Code and Data for the Social Sciences

Via my departmental maillist, this rather useful guide by Matthew Gentzkow and Jesse Shapiro at Chicago: Code and Data for the Social Sciences: A Practitioner’s Guide. They write:

Though we all write code for a living, few of the economists, political scientists, psychologists, sociologists, or other empirical researchers we know have any formal training in computer science.

Social science and computer science is a great combination – it happens to be my background. And since one of my current projects is looking at what new-fangled ‘data scientists’ do – I thought I would assemble here some additional ‘lessons for economists from software engineering’ to complement Gentzkow and Shapiro’s.