[Tagging] Street and Sub-Street in Address Tagging

Paul Allen pla16021 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 16:27:36 UTC 2021

On Sat, 16 Jan 2021 at 15:51, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

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
> postcode.

Theoretically the house name/number is unique within a postcode
and nothing but the house name/number and postcode are needed.
A little redundancy helps with error detection and correction, though.

> 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.

According to Royal Mail, it is solely the purview of the local authority
and any changes must be approved by the local authority.

> 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".

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.  In
practise, there is.  I've surveyed houses that display neither name
nor number.  I've surveyed houses that display only a name but
are between two numbered houses in a range of numbered houses
and the number can be inferred (and confirmed by other means).
And I've encountered houses that may once have had a number in
the distant past but it is not displayed nor can I find anything to
say what it might have been, nor can it be inferred (when only
only one house of three on a dependent thoroughfare has the number
2, it's impossible to tell which 1 and 3 were).

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

Dependent thoroughfare if it has multiple occupants, building
name if it has a single occupant.  Probably.

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.

I think I would have preferred addr:sub-street for the dependent
thoroughfare.  I think it a better fit to how people (I'm using a sample
size of 1 for "people") think about things.  But maybe a slightly worse
fit for tower blocks.  But I'm losing the will to live, so parentstreet is
looking good.

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

It started well enough, though I noted it didn't explain why a
thoroughfare might be split into more than one postcode (it seems
to be because the postcode corresponds to the route a postperson
uses).  But as I read further it completely sapped my will to live.

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