[talk-au] Address tagging guidelines for Australia

Stéphane Guillou stephane.guillou at gmail.com
Thu Mar 13 02:56:50 UTC 2014

Dear all

Sorry to resend this but I just wanted to have some feedback on my 
recommendations about addresses and my question about the postcodes, if 
anyone is able to help, before I add these recommendations to the wiki.


On 20/01/14 12:41, Stéphane Guillou wrote:
> Thanks Ben and Warin for your input.
> So my understanding of it so far is that we could recommend to tag as 
> follows:
> *addr:housenumber=*separated with semicolons if several, or range 
> using a hyphen (current general addressing recommendations)*
> **addr:street=*full way name*
> */*addr:postcode=*/four-digit postcode
> /addr:suburb=//suburb name
> //addr:city=large conurbation (is this the right term?) e.g. Sydney, 
> Melbourne//
> //addr:state=whole name (as general rule is to make it as 
> human-readable as possible)//
> //addr:country=AU (country code as currently recommended)//
> /
> Housenumber and Street should be pointed out as the most important 
> bits, as Ben explained. Tags in italic are the less important ones as 
> they can be deduced from existing boundaries, and thus ignored to 
> minimise a risk of confusion or inaccuracies. (?)
> I understand from this page 
> <https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/w/index.php?title=Import/Catalogue/ABS_Data> 
> that the suburb boundaries already exist. About Australian postcodes, 
> the same page says that an older dataset was removed due to a change 
> in licensing. Is there any postcode boundary data currently in use for 
> Australia?
> Add:city is a particular case as I understand there is no official 
> boundaries for those "conurbations" - am I getting this right, Ben? In 
> that case, should we recommend users not to use this tag at all as it 
> might end up being confusing?
> Cheers
> chtfn
> On 20/01/14 09:35, Ben Kelley wrote:
>> Hi.
>> There is an admin boundary level for local government areas. This is 
>> like a British county.
>> Note that all these can be derived for an address simply by looking 
>> where the address node is. Is it inside the boundary for the country 
>> Australia? Then then the address is in Australia. No need to tag it 
>> as well. Same for suburb/town, LGA and state.
>> The things you can't infer from an address's location are the street 
>> number, and which street it is associated with.
>> The boundaries for state and country are well defined. Less so for 
>> town and LGA, but tools like Nominatum will use these boundaries to 
>> describe addresses where they are present.
>>   - Ben Kelley.
>> On 20 Jan 2014 09:22, "Warin" <61sundowner at gmail.com 
>> <mailto:61sundowner at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>     On 19/01/2014 8:48 PM, Ben Kelley wrote:
>>>     Hi.
>>>     I think in Australia, as far as gazetted places go, suburb=town,
>>>     but for these, you can derive it if the suburb has an admin
>>>     boundary.
>>>     City is not gazetted. E.g. Sydney is a suburb. An address in
>>>     nearby Pyrmont is not in Sydney (the suburb), so saying it is in
>>>     a city called Sydney might be confusing.
>>>       - Ben Kelley.
>>     Perhaps better to deal with it as a county/shire issue? As we are
>>     british based then this may be of some assistance?
>>     http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/English_Counties
>>     This should separate any two suburbs of the same name (I hope!).
>>     Unfortunately these are not in common use here (unlike britain)
>>     so may not be helpful for general navigation.
>>     As for the post office - I'd think they use the post code first
>>     rather than the city/suburb. I'd think the OS Map is for
>>     navigation, not for the post office? So it should make sense in a
>>     navigational way?
>>>     On 19 Jan 2014 14:01, "Stéphane Guillou"
>>>     <stephane.guillou at gmail.com <mailto:stephane.guillou at gmail.com>>
>>>     wrote:
>>>         Thanks everyone for your input.
>>>         I wonder what was the rationale behind using abbreviations
>>>         for countries and states as I understood that the database
>>>         must be as human-readable as possible.
>>>         Still, I will be following the recommendations on the
>>>         Key:addr page for addr:country=AU.
>>>         However, I am still unsure about suburb vs city. Key:addr
>>>         tells us to watch out for the Australian definition of
>>>         suburbs, and Wikipedia says the following:
>>>         "In Australia and New Zealand, suburbs have become
>>>         formalised as geographic subdivisions of a city and are used
>>>         by postal services in *addressing*."
>>>         As we are here tagging the address, I was wondering: are we
>>>         tagging so the addresses appear as they should when we use
>>>         them (e.g. when we write them on an envelope) - the original
>>>         point of tagging an address I guess - (in which case I would
>>>         just go with addr:city=The Gap), or should we understand the
>>>         tags as literally as possible (in that case, I would go
>>>         addr:city=Brisbane and addr:suburb=The Gap).
>>>         What would be the best way to decide on a convention so we
>>>         can add guidelines for OSM-AU?
>>>         Cheers
>>>         Stéphane (chtfn)
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