[talk-au] Address tagging guidelines for Australia

stev391 at email.com stev391 at email.com
Thu Mar 13 03:07:45 UTC 2014

I have no strong views on the question regarding the use of addr:city, in the past I have utilised it in some areas and not in others as described in your email (sometimes I have put the suburb in the city tag, as it makes sense in areas, that I do not know are part of a greater city), due to the lack of guidance on applicability in Aus.

I am not familar of a current postcode boundary details, I tend to try and identify this information from what I can gather in the field, like addresses on menu's/pamphlets from restaraunts, shops, businesses, or another source is friends addresses in the area.

Agree that street and housenumber are the required tags, with others optional.

That is my 2 cents worth.
----- Original Message -----
From: Stéphane Guillou
Sent: 03/13/14 01:56 PM
Subject: Re: [talk-au] Address tagging guidelines for Australia

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?



On 20/01/14 09:35, Ben Kelley wrote:
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 > wrote:

On 19/01/2014 8:48 PM, Ben Kelley wrote:
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?

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 > 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?


Stéphane (chtfn)

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