[Tagging] We should stop using hyphens to denote address ranges

Andrew Harvey andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 05:09:02 UTC 2020

> Data consumers see these hyphenated house numbers as one address, as well.

Is that a problem? An address range can be considered a single address.

> Create an address node for each housenumber and place each node somewhere
on the building outline (or inside the building)

I don't think that's a good idea, we should try to accurately map what's on
the ground, when the street address is signposted as a range like "1-3" we
should capture that as a single address "1-3" and not multiple addresses
unless it's signed that way on the ground.

> If house numbers are associated with individual entrances, tag those
numbers to entrance=* nodes.

Doesn't work when the whole site and single main entrance have the address

> Separate the numbers by commas (e.g., 11,13,15) or semicolon (e.g.,

Again I feel that's skewing what's actually represented on the ground,
which is a single address which is a range and not multiple addresses.

> Specify the range (e.g. 10-95). Note that there is a risk of ambiguity
between two meanings:
> When such a range is officially used for the entire house, this is the
preferred method. In this case 10-95 is simply a label like any other. In
this and other cases, house numbers officially contain a dash and are not
meant to be treated as special.
> When such a range is meant to be interpreted as a list of addresses, use
addr:interpolation=* (described below) to emphasise this. Some mappers will
add a short "virtual" way which allows them to put addresses 10 and 95 on
separate nodes as normal. Some mappers will specify the range 10-95 on a
single object, where the addition of the addr:interpolation=* tag
disambiguates it from the "simply a label" meaning, specifying that it is
indeed to be treated as a range. Both approaches are used in practice and
there is little consensus.
> Note that in some cases building or building complex has single address
such as 3-5 that only looks like a housenumber range. As usual, do not
convert such data blindly, without a verification.

I think this is the best option, since it depends exactly what's happening
on the ground.

I think the only reasonable alternative is to have something like
addr:housenumber:start=1 + addr:housenumber:end=3. Which is clearer that
this is a range and allows data consumers to understand it better.

On Tue, 18 Aug 2020 at 13:34, Paul White <pjwhite1010 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello,
> I wanted to raise a concern about tagging house numbers on a building
> using a hyphen to denote the address range (e.g 33-55 Main Street). This is
> a bad idea because some areas in the United States and possibly elsewhere
> use hyphenated street numbers for individual dwellings.[1] Data consumers
> see these hyphenated house numbers as one address, as well. Other methods
> documented here
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Addresses#Buildings_with_multiple_house_numbers> work
> better, in my opinion.
> I hope to get some input on this issue and the best path forward.
> Best, Paul
> [1]
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queens#Streets
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Lawn%2C_New_Jersey#Grid-based_address_system
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Address#United_States
> _______________________________________________
> Tagging mailing list
> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging
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