[Tagging] noaddress=yes and (possibly) implicit buildings

Matija Nalis mnalis-openstreetmaplist at voyager.hr
Fri Jan 8 16:26:17 UTC 2021

I'd like community input on https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:noaddress

Is it reasonable to map "building=yes" polygons with  "noaddress=yes" in
cases when the building is known to have no address, but details about its
purpose are not known yet (so I know building has no address, but don't yet
know if it is because it is service building, or shed, or garage etc).

There are two immediate use cases (excuse the length, but I'm trying to give some context):

(1) regions of Croatia has been hit by several earthquakes recently, and local OSM community has tried to help by doing several things:

    - (done) mapping all the buildings in affected regions in OSM, using aerial photos from previous years

    - (done) creating webapp for comparing looks from damage using emergency response teams drone photos after the 
      earthquakes and generating estimated damage report maps

    - (done) creating webpage when people can tag on map their damage and what they require for help
      (and also temporary accommodation offerings from other people)

     (those are mentioned for background information only: they are mostly done, 
      are described and discussed in Croatian only and somewhat require
      local knowledge, and we're tight on human resources so can't provide
      international guidanace: so we're not seeking HOT / active
      international OSM contributors help there at the moment - but 
      thanks to everyone caring!)

    We are currently in progress of receiving permission from officials to import address dataset from government and then validate it:

    That one will help integrate with the above efforts, to more easily find affected people and help.

    One of the important factors of building having no address in villages / towns affected by earthquakes
    is that is not a residential building, so it would help in using the OSM for earthquake relief purposes.

    Using "noaddress=yes" there would help differentiate between buildings not processed yet, and buildings known 
    not to have address associated (ie. non-living building).

(2) using the application StreetComplete for on-the-ground surveying. 

    This application downloads OSM data, and uses "quests" to fill-in
    additional data that is missing by simple clicking on answers with
    pictures, so even people with no OSM knowledge can use it quickly.

    The data can be anything: surface of the road, address of building,
    number of floors of the building, type of building, street lit status, etc.
    In only updates tags on existing nodes/ways.
    While StreetComplete allows for choosing which "quests" are to  be
    mapped, and are setting their priorities, some quests depend on other
    quests and will never be shown for

    Relevant for this question in particular, to be able to enter house
    addresses quests (which is often priority), one currently must first
    solve "building type" quest: with reasoning that there is no need to ask
    for addresses for a "shed" or "garage".

    However, due to not-easily-solvable technical issues, after solving the
    "building type" quest, there is a significant delay before you would be
    presented with dependent quest like "house address", by which time the
    mapper has already moved elsewhere.

    Which is a problem, if one wants to put priority to house addresses
    instead, as it would require two passes across same territory to map

    (In earthquake situation as above, it is even worse, as mobile
    communications infrastructure is also damaged and you are not
    always-online, so it forces even bigger delays between two mappings)

    Suggested solution to prioritize "house number" (ie. not having it
    depend on "building type") is by marking buildings as "noaddress=yes" if
    the user indicates the building does not a have an address. 

    Also if/when the specific building type was mapped by same or other user
    (eg. it was identified as "shed" or "sty" or "garage" etc.), the
    then-implicit "noaddress=yes" tag would be automatically removed by the
    app (as it would be then be implied by "building=shed" etc).

    App developers indicated that it could be done that way, but would not
    do it if there could be community outrage/dissent when "noaddress=yes" was 
    used in such way (eg. using "noaddress=yes" for mapping buildings without 
    addresses, but which might later determined to be a garage/shed where)

    So I'm asking if the community would be OK with this, as it would
    probably lead to increased number of "noaddress=yes" + "building=yes"
    polygons (depending on user priorities and involvement)?

Would OSM community be OK with that, or do you foresee dissent / problems? 
If so, which problems do you foresee, and what is your input on how it might be addressed?
Thanks for you feedback!

    Would OSM community be opposed to mapping "noaddress=yes" on
    "building=yes" polygons in cases when specific building type is not yet
    determined / mapped ?

Opinions above are GNU-copylefted.

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