*** Presented at State of the Map 2013, by Sarah Hoffmann ***
*** For more info including slides, where available, see lanyrd.com/2013/sotm/scpkrk/
*** Full schedule also available at wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/State_Of_The_Map_2013
Most mappers and users of OSM are - knowingly or not - users of Nominatim. The software behind the search box on osm.org is a powerful search engine that allows free- form searches over almost anything in OSM that has a name. It is able to keep up-to- date with the latest edits and also supports reverse geocoding. This talk takes a look inside OSM's main search engine. It explains how the raw OSM data is processed into a huge address database and how a search query is turned into the right answer (or not on some occasions). The focus is less on the technical details but more on the general principles, clearing up some of the mysteries and misconceptions around Nominatim, helping the interested mapper to better understand how their carefully mapped areas are turned into something that can be found by others.