[Tagging] Relation:associatedStreet: house or address? factorizing?

Pieren pieren3 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 15:57:13 UTC 2014

On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 3:00 PM, André Pirard

> (1) the role is "house" but the descriptive comment very vaguely, tersely
> and strangely describes it as "one or more house numbers" which is logical.
> Should I assume that "house" is a misnomer, that it means "address" and
> that I need only the node?

Maybe the wiki can be improved but if you don't like the relation
"associatedStreet" (like many) then don't use it !
The role "house" is to point out the OSM element carying the house number,
so any node or way tagged with "addr:housenumber=*". Perhaps the name
"house" is not the best idea ever in OSM but, well, we can survive with

> (2) After having received the message below, quoting the worst written
> article of all the wiki,

If you mean the wiki page about "relations are not categories", you should
read it again because it has nothing to do with your questions about
address and/or "factorization"

> always invoked without justifications,  saying that "I have not
> understood" that relations are not made to factorize tags of all members, I
> am surprised to see associatedStreet factorize the "street" tag of all of
> its "house" members.
> Who did not understand?
> A relation, whatever its type but probably not associatedStreet, could as
> well factorize a speed limit or any zone.
You have to understand that what you call "factorize", means moving common
attributs from small, individual OSM elements to a higher entity, either a
multiline string relation or any sort of relation (multipolygon,
associatedStreet, etc), is not something automatic or generally admitted in
OSM. The data consumers (basically, the software applications) need some
special processing for that and they will do it only if it is formalized
somewhere, commonly agreed and, at least, partially used in the database.

For instance, it is commonly accepted that adding "addr:country" in all
addresses is not required when all addresses are surrounded by a "country
polygon" (same for the place names or post codes now). The advantage is
clear and obvious here when we can save millions duplications.

The associatedStreet question is bit different since the relation itself is
not so widely used (even rejected by many contributors), is not supported
by many data consumers and with a definition that changed in time. For
instance, it was never clear if the relation should contain only one street
way or all of them. It was also never said that the street name should be
moved from the highway elements to the relation (what you call
"factorize"). All of these things are possible but it needs some sort of
discussions, consensus, approvals and software changes.

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