[Tagging] addr:street for routes

Kevin Kenny kevin.b.kenny at gmail.com
Fri Jul 31 18:02:33 UTC 2020

.On Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 12:25 PM Jmapb <jmapb at gmx.com> wrote:

> Hi all, what's the best way to tag the addr:street of an address along a
> highway route?
> Example, I'm mapping houses and POIs along NY 212:
> https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/411064
> Some segments of the route are tagged name=Main Street and the addresses
> there use Main Street for their street name -- easy.
> But most of the ways in the route have no valid name. Segments were
> imported from TIGER with name=State Highway 214 but that's been removed
> in favor of ref=NY 214. Written addresses found in government data and
> POI signs/websites/business cards are various: Highway 214, Route 214,
> State Highway 214, State Route 214, NY Route 214, New York 214, NY-214,
> etc. Most buildings are signed with a housenumber only.
> Is it best to simply tag addr:street=NY 214, matching the ref tag of the
> segment and the name tag of the route? This isn't consistent with the
> wiki, which specifically says addr:street should match the *name* of a
> nearby *way*.

The `addr:street` should match what goes on the address label that a
delivery driver will be reading.

Ordinarily, that's the signed name of the street, if the street has a
name.  Rural New York has many streets that will have a `ref=* noname=yes`
- because their highway number is their only name.  In this case, I use the
postal address spelt out, so a building or address point will
have `addr:housenumber=1234 addr:street="'State Route 214"` or
`addr=housenumber=1234 addr:street="County Route 23C"`

That practice gives some validation engines heartburn - they warn that
`addr:street` shows a name that does not belong to a nearby way. That issue
is the reason that I formerly advocated having the way carry the tag
`name="State Route 214`" if the street has no other name and postal
addresses use the reference.  I was convinced by many others here that the
consensus is that the latter is poor practice, and that simply having the
`addr:street` show a name that attaches to no way is correct.

I think that duplicating the ref `CR 23C` or `NY 214` literally in the
`addr:name` is a less-than-optimal practice; I strongly prefer having the
name spelt out, and possibly including the authority:  `New York State
Route 214` or `Greene County Route 23C`.  Note that the word 'Route' is
appropriate for both of these; New York doesn't have roads formally named
'State Highway' or 'County Road' - both are 'Routes' in the official

One reason for spelling out everything is that these fields often wind up
in voice-synthesis software, and it's much easier to deal with spelt-out
words than obscure abbreviations. To this day, when I go to Schoharie,
OSMand will direct me onto 'Enn Wye Thirty Amperes toward Shah-ha-ree'
because Android's voice synthesis lacks a pronunciation for 'Schoharie' and
the context for 'NY 30A'. (I've also heard highway numbers read out as 'Enn
Wye Nine Newtons', 'You Ess Nine Watts', 'See Are Twenty-Three Coulombs',
and so on - apparently a letter following a string of digits is
consistently interpreted as being the abbreviation of an SI unit.)

Side note: We really ought to settle on name:pronunciation or some similar
key, because otherwise there is No Flippin' Way that navigation software
will ever realize that Schoharie is /skoʊˈheɪɹˌiː/, Valatie is /vəˈleɪ.ʃə/,
or Cairo is /ˈkeɪɹ.oʊ/. You're an Upstater, so you know what I'm talking
about! (For those who aren't, the voice of Salli on
http://ipa-reader.xyz/?text=v%C9%99%CB%88le%C9%AA.%CA%83%C9%99 is pretty
close to the local pronunciation, although her intonation isn't quite right
on 'Schoharie'.)

73 de ke9tv/2, Kevin
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