[Tagging] Street and Sub-Street in Address Tagging

Colin Smale colin.smale at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 16 19:05:47 UTC 2021

On 2021-01-16 19:17, Joseph Eisenberg wrote:

>>>> 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, ... But as I read further it completely sapped my will to live. 
> Ministry of Silly Walks must have been involved in designing this:

It's alive and well, you may well be right... but the system was
designed to model the archaic way houses and addresses have developed
through the centuries in the UK and does not seek to impose a simplistic
framework on a society so attached to tradition. It would be so much
easier if "3 Foo Cottages" could just be told "tough luck, your address
is now 1234 Bar Road because that makes our IT systems easier" but it
ain't gonna happen. 

In the States the history is clearly different - just look at the nice
neat blocks on a grid system in many cities. In many European countries
it is different again, where addresses are in a strict hierarchy of
interlocking areas and basically no inhabitable building can exist
without an address in the simplest of systems - number, road, zipcode,

I have a hard time explaining the quirks of the UK's addressing system
and local authority structure to my colleagues here in NL. Concepts like
"Lands common to [multiple civil parishes]" and houses with a name and
no number are unknown here. 

> double_dependant_locality    <string>
> "When the same thoroughfare name reoccurs in a Post town, it may not be possible to make it dependant on a dependant thoroughfare. In this case the thoroughfare is dependant on a locality. 
> "For example if we want to find 1 Back Lane in Huddersfield we see that there are three."
> double_dependant_locality   <string>
> "Used to supplement Dependant Locality."
> "A Double Dependant Locality supplied along with a Dependant Locality if the Dependant Locality exists twice in the same locality." 
> Fortunately it seems that this is not really needed, since the postcode for each of these "premises" will be different? 
> (PS: I actually read the link outloud to my family. We did not lose the will to live, but we did laugh) 
> -- Joseph Eisenberg 
> On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 8:30 AM Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote: 
> 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. 
> -- 
> Paul 
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