[Tagging] Street and Sub-Street in Address Tagging

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 16 15:49:33 UTC 2021

On 2021-01-16 16:22, Paul Allen wrote:

> The next broad category is where the axis of the 
> dependent thoroughfare is perpendicular to the axis 
> of the dependent thoroughfare in the horizontal plane. 
> Often the result of a large residential plot being 
> sub-divided.  One might ask why the relevant 
> authorities didn't decide to just call the result 
> "Bar Court" instead of "Bar Court, Foo Street" 
> but the fact is they did not.  Frequently in the 
> UK such divisions get their own postcode 
> because otherwise properties that are in 
> Bar Court that front onto Foo Street would 
> result in duplicate numbers on Foo Street. 
> I live in such a dependent thoroughfare.

This is why RM say that if you only have room for one street name, use
the Dependent Thoroughfare ("Bar Court") as this will be unique within a

> You could partially solve this one by using 
> Bar Court as addr:street,  As long as it's 
> the only Bar Court in the town.  And with 
> possible problems with geocoding if 
> somebody queries for "Bar Court, Foo Street" 
> (because they enter the full address) and gets zero results. 
> The third major category is tower blocks.  I suspect many 
> mappers have used addr:housename for the name of 
> the tower block itself and addr:housenumber for the number 
> of the dwelling within the block.  Which sort of works, but 
> means addr:housename has a different meaning (it would fail if 
> anyone within the block named their dwelling). 
> To make it clear, in "ordinary" addresses a house might have a 
> name, or a number, or both.

There are two sorts of house names: Firstly (particularly in rural
settings) where a house does not actually have a number. In these cases
the name is managed by the local authority together with Royal Mail and
can't be changed at a whim. Secondly there are "vanity names" that
people add to a house that has a number. In that case the number must
still always be displayed on the property and used as part of the
address, and the house name is "optional". 

> Royal Mail maintains those with aliases, 
> so "1 Bar Street, Smallville," "Dunmappin, Bar Street, Smallville" 
> and "Dunmappin, 1 Bar Street, Smallville" all refer to the same delivery 
> point.  For a tower block, "1 Foo Towers, Bar Street, Smallville" 
> is not the same thing as "Foo Towers, Bar Street, Smallville" (not 
> a fully-specified delivery point unless there is only one entity 
> within).  If "Foo Towers" has more than one deliverable 
> occupant, it isn't really an addr:housename even if it's probably 
> been mapped that way, because you cannot omit the house 
> number as you could with an "ordinary" address with a house 
> name.

Because "Foo Towers" is a Dependant Thoroughfare and not part of the
house name/number perhaps? Or maybe it is a "Building Name"? 

> We have partial kluges for all three categories, but none work 
> well.  A field for dependent thoroughfare would be a full solution 
> for all of them (but there are probably weirder examples that not 
> even that would fix).

Indeed, the suggestion of addr:street mapping to the Dependent
Thoroughfare and addr:parentstreet mapping to the Thoroughfare fixes
this, and because it is a direct mapping to the address model used by RM
in the PAF, it is likely to accommodate the "thoroughfare" part of all
official addresses in the UK. 

A slightly nerdy explanation of all these data elements can be found
here: https://ideal-postcodes.co.uk/documentation/paf-data#thoroughfare
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