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

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Tue Aug 18 09:13:32 UTC 2020

The correct ways to model a range of house numbers is to use an address
interpolation or explicitly list the numbers (using comma or semi-colons
as delimitiers), anything else is woefully underspecified, not to
mention other issues, for example hyphens being used to delimit building
and apartment/unit numbers as in AUS for example.


Am 18.08.2020 um 11:02 schrieb Mateusz Konieczny via Tagging:
> Aug 18, 2020, 07:09 by andrew.harvey4 at gmail.com:
>     > 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.
> It depends on what is actually on the ground, we are mapping addresses
> with addr:housenumber.
> Single object using 1-3 range? OK, 1-3 is correct and other versions
> would be incorrect.
> Single 1-3 signpost with three entrances? Then mapping each as a
> separate node with
> addr:housenumber=1, addr:housenumber=2, addr:housenumber=3 is preferable.
> Single entrance? Depends on a case, if there is later a clear split
> then three nodes are better
> than one range.
> Signposts are not sole address source, asking people - especially
> people living there -
> is also perfectly acceptable on the ground survey method.
>     > 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 range.
> And in such case range may be OK or even preferable.
>     > Separate the numbers by commas (e.g., 11,13,15) or semicolon
>     (e.g., 11;13;15).
> why commas?
>     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.
> We are using addr:* to map addresses, not signposts. And in this
> specific case you are
> anyway unable to specify range.
>     > 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
>     <mailto: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
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