[Talk-us] Street Naming Conventions
Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.Net
Wed Apr 7 07:48:30 BST 2010
At 2010-04-06 22:36, Val Kartchner wrote:
>Using USPS abbreviations is the convention used by all commercial online
>mapping providers that I've seen. (i.e.: maps.google.com,
>maps.yahoo.com, www.bing.com/maps ) I think that OSM should adopt the
>What do people think?
Yes! This has been one of those things that's been bothering me for a long
In southern California, where I live and have mapped extensively, the
cardinal direction in front of the street name is wrong. It's not part of
the name on the signs, on the assessor's maps, tract/parcel maps, survey
records, local legislation, etc. My general read is that it is more
appropriate as a suffix to the housenumber.
There are some exceptions, however:
1. Some road right-of-ways were widened and then split into two one-way
streets to accommodate a new light-rail track down the middle. In some
cases these streets are then named with a cardinal direction as a prefix or
suffix. An example is Vermont Ave in Compton, which was split into Vermont
Ave East and Vermont Ave West.
2. Another typically occurs in residential areas with roads that are
circular. Example: West Liberty Pkwy and East Liberty Pkwy in Fontana.
Note that the direction prefix/suffix is usually perpendicular to the main
direction of the way in these cases, whereas the housenumber suffix
direction is normally parallel to it (i.e. North/South on a North/South
I've taken care to spell out the direction in these cases, in preparation
for the day I could bring up this issue and hopefully get agreement to
start stripping these prefixes away when they are not appropriate.
Unfortunately, now, someone is running a bot that is expanding all the
suffixes, so that distinction will be lost :(
With regard to the street-type suffixes (e.g. St, Dr, Ct), I don't
understand the reasoning behind expanding these either. As Val said, they
are almost never spelled out on any sign, nor many types of records,
websites, etc. Also, while it is technically a "tagging for the renderer"
argument, I only see harm and no benefit to cluttering the rendered map
with all those extra characters. Lastly, there are some exceptions
(although inconceivably poorly planned) where the word may actually be part
of the name (e.g. North Mainstreet and South Mainstreet) in Rancho Cucamonga).
I propose that it be acceptable for someone who is familiar with a
particular area to be able to move the leading cardinal direction to
another tag (maybe direction=*) on streets when they know it is not
appropriate in that area and specific case. I'd also like to see the
changesets from this expansion bot reverted so as to allow one to make the
distinction between the special cases noted above and the ones that are
\Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.net>
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