[Talk-GB] Postcodes

Jack FitzSimons jack.fitzsimons at ntlworld.com
Fri Jan 25 17:30:41 UTC 2019

I've been using Robert Whittaker's resources to try to correct postcode errors in OSM. After discussion with another mapper, I'd like to have the opinion of the community as to what we should put in OSM. A simple answer might be to show the correct, current postcode (i.e. if the Postcode Address File became open-source we'd import that). However there are a couple of things to think about:

As mappers we use the information that is on the ground. For postcodes that could mean till receipts, company websites, FHRS or edubase data. What if these do not show the current correct postcode and there is no open source which shows the correct one? Is an incorrect postcode better than none? What if one of those sources (say FHRS) shows the correct postcode but more obvious sources (e.g. the company website) shows an old postcode? I can use the correct postcode but it is likely to be changed back to a wrong one by a mapper who has only found the obvious source.

I've noticed that many bank branches have a unique postcode while the shops either side of them all share a single postcode. When the bank branch closes (as so many do these days) the unique postcode finds its way on to Robert's old postal district list. A new occupant of the bank premises is likely to be given the same postcode as the other shops nearby. Do we need to retain the old postcode for any historical purpose? If so we probably also need to tag that this building was once a bank but if we do that for every previous occupant of every shop things would soon get out of hand!  While the bank is empty and, hence, no longer listed on the PAF, is it better to retain the old postcode or delete it and show no postcode for that building?

I want to improve the map but don't want to delete or overwrite anything which may be of some value. Thoughts please!
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