[Tagging] Block names (vs street names) in Brasilia

Alex Barth alex at mapbox.com
Mon Apr 23 23:56:06 BST 2012

Last week we've done some walking papers work in Brasilia and there are now some questions on how to enter data.

Brasilia and its satellites do not use street names, but an elaborate block numbering system. Before we start entering data, I'd like to propose a proper way to enter blocks. 

We're seeing right now two main ways how these block numbers are being added into OpenStreetMap:

1) as street name [1]
2) as place name (floating node) for a suburb or a neighborhood [2]

Neither seems to be satisfactory. Street names are ambiguous when streets run between blocks (as they frequently do). Place names aren't accurate and don't have proper tags (i. e. there is no place=block).

I wanted to get some opinions before I start data entry. After discussing this issue with AJ Ashton and Ian Villeda over here we've come to the conclusion that polygons would be the most accurate way to depict the situation on the ground. Here is how we would proceed: 

- draw blocks as polygons
- tag with `landuse=residential` or `landuse=commercial`
- name with block number

Screenshot [3] shows a concrete example of a typical blocks in Taguatinga. On OpenStreetMap.org these changes appear like so [4] (obviously the appearance on OSM.org shouldn't have much of an influence on the decision).

- Any comments or suggestions?
- Any previous discussions or existing practices I should be reading up on? Brasilia is not the only place where block names are used instead of street names. To my knowledge, other examples are some parts of Sofia/Bulgaria (I see street names here [5]) and Japan (not sure where to look).

[1] https://skitch.com/alexbarth/8i8em/java-openstreetmap-editor
[2] https://skitch.com/alexbarth/8i8g9/java-openstreetmap-editor
[3] https://skitch.com/alexbarth/8i8gj/java-openstreetmap-editor 
[4] http://osm.org/go/NuPiCKvIF-
[5] http://osm.org/go/x1DQhC5e

/bcc to talk@

Alex Barth
tel (202) 250-3633

More information about the Tagging mailing list