[Tagging] reference_point and landmark for addresses

Felix Delattre linux at delattre.de
Tue Mar 20 22:52:27 GMT 2012


First of all: I'm not a deeply involved into OSM, just a small and
sporadic contributer and I want to apologize in case I'm asking stupid
questions. My request is that I would like to start a discussion about
the the tags "landmark" [1] and "reference_point" [2].

But first of all, a little explanation:

In Central America describing addresses work differently than in
northern countries. As there are often times no street names and people
are used to describe the addresses with reference points. Only in some
residential areas they use letter and numbers for sectors and houses.

For example a valid addresses could be:
* From the old church in Santa Ana, 400 meters east.
* From secondary school Carlos Blass, half a block to the south.
* From where the Cinema Cabrera was before, 2 blocks south and 20 meters

Reference points can practically be everything, even old ones that don't
exist anymore [3], or something which usually would not be marked on a
map, but has become popular, like f.e. "the little tree" [4]. You can
see this get's a bit complicated :-)

I love using OSM on my little car navigation device, but in order to get
the address search working properly in this cultural context Ben
Konrath, who prepares the map of Central America for Nuvi devices,
started using a tag "reference_point=yes" in order to enable them in the
POI search.

But there is the landmark key as well, but, as I understand, it works
more as a description to landmarks and not marking them as one. Am I
right about this?

So, what would be the right way for us to tag the
landmarks/reference_point? Would it be a good idea to make
"reference_point" an "official" tag? What can I do to make it better? (I
guess, updating the wiki about the findings of this discussion)

Anyway finding the right and standard way to achieve this would help us
all to get broader acceptance. And on the long run it is the only way to
get the address search working properly in these countries, where by the
way, OpenStreetMap has a lot of potential since good commercial maps are
not available.

Felix Delattre

[1] https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:landmark
[2] http://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/reference_point
[3] In Managua, capital of Nicaragua, especially we use mostly reference
points from the time before the earthquake in 1972 when the whole city
crashed down.
[4] "In fact, Managua's best-known landmark, the Little Tree, grew until
it was quite a big tree, was cut down and then replanted. Through it
all, "from the Little Tree . . ." remained the first phrase in scores of
Managuan addresses." From

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