[Talk-ca] Preferred phone number format

Matthew Darwin matthew at mdarwin.ca
Thu Feb 1 02:49:40 UTC 2018


Hi all,

So we get a sense of what phone number formats people are using, I 
pulled all the *phone* and *contact:phone *tags from OSM in Canada.  
The top 10 formats used are:

    8819 phone"+#-###-###-####
    4321 phone"###-###-####
    4298 phone"+# ###-###-####
    3012 phone"+# ### ### ####
    2558 phone"+# ### ###-####
    2471 phone"(###) ###-####
    1087 phone"##########
     946 phone"+#-
     680 phone"+# ### #######
     512 phone"+###########

So one of the recommended formats is the top one in use.  But there 
are 4 formats in high use which have the leading "+1", but have 
different variants of spaces/hyphens:

    8819 phone"+#-###-###-####
    4298 phone"+# ###-###-####
    3012 phone"+# ### ### ####
    2558 phone"+# ### ###-####

Other facts:

  * There are ~400 unique formats (when changing all digits to #) of
    phone and contact:phone
  * There are additionally ~45 phone numbers that use letters instead
    of digits (eg 1-555-GOT-BEER)
  * ";" separator is used occasionally to indicate multiple phone
    numbers.  " ", "," and "/" are also used.
  * There are random comments in the phone number field (not sure
    where these really should be?)
  * Extensions are represented generally by "x" or "ext" or "ext."
  * There are less than 1000 phone numbers using contact:phone instead
    of phone, using ~40 unique formats
  * I did not analyze phone_1 or fax or any other tags.

I will continue to cleanup phone numbers across the country which are 
missing the leading +1 and or are not one of the 4 common formats 
listed above.  My thought is that

  * I will leave the phone numbers of 1-555-GOT-BEER type.
  * I will use ";" as multiple number separator.
  * I will use "x" for extension.
  * And I will be happy to cleanup the wonky ones with lots of text in
    them if there is a direction of where this should move to. 
    Example for a radio station: "office (###) ###-####; on-air studio
    (###) ###-####"


Feedback welcome.



On 2018-01-28 08:22 PM, Matthew Darwin wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Is there a preferred phone number format we use in Canada?
>
> I noticed a bunch of phone numbers in Ottawa don't follow the 
> recommendations in https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:phone, 
> namely:
>
>   * phone=/number/ where the /number/ should be in international
>     (ITU-T E.164 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.164>) format
>       o phone=+<country code> <area code> <local number>, following
>         the ITU-T E.123 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.123> and the
>         DIN 5008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/de:DIN_5008> pattern
>       o (phone=+<country code>-<area code>-<local number>, following
>         the RFC 3966/NANP <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NANP> pattern)
>
> Is there a preference which of these formats is used?   Can anyone 
> run a query and see which is more popular in the country?
>
> The reason I'm asking is that since a bunch of phone numbers leave 
> off the +1 (and have other errors), I want to align them to the 
> recommended format.   I am wondering if I should have them in the 
> format of "+1 999 555 1234" or "+1-999-555-1234". If there is no 
> existing preference adopted in OSM Canada, I will use the latter to 
> cleanup the non-compliant phone numbers.
>
> Comments?
>
> I am also assuming we prefer "phone" over "contact:phone" as per 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:contact
>

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