[Talk-GB] Tagging post towns and other addressing issues in the UK

talk-gb at manet-computer.co.uk talk-gb at manet-computer.co.uk
Wed Jan 30 18:14:44 UTC 2019



There are some interesting views on this topic.


Looking at Roberts ideas in the link at the start of the thread, it’s not perfect but makes sense.


At the moment we seem to be just putting in the bare minimum as an address, it might be enough to get things delivered to somewhere but lacks something.


What it lacks is what I would call the second line of the address, the bit that describes which High Street it refers too, there are several in some towns e.g. Northampton or Milton Keynes.


I don’t mind the tag addr:locality it does the job but is a bit bland.


Some comments to some addresses I have entered have made it clear that there are people who really hate the idea of putting the name of the town that would appear in what PAF calls Post Town in the addr:city tag and others who see it as part of the address.


Looking at the web sites of a few of the town councils around me, some do include the post town in their published address and some don’t.

I would rather say the town name that is not the post town goes into addr:town because it’s a town in itself.

Although it should be possible to work out that the address is in a small to medium town from it’s location, looking for an address in a town using a addr:town tag sound logical.

The same with villages and smaller settlements.


We might get disagreement where a large town has swallowed up a smaller settlement but that should be down to local mappers who understand the history of the area.







From: Andrzej [mailto:ndrw6 at redhazel.co.uk] 
Sent: 28 January 2019 15:06
To: talk-gb at openstreetmap.org
Subject: Re: [Talk-GB] Tagging post towns and other addressing issues in the UK


Is it possible to use addr:locality for both towns and villages? That could simplify things quite a bit and I have yet to see an address that needs a post town and two levels of localities below.

Having said that, I still don't understand the objections to addr:town and addr:village. Can anyone come up with an example of an address where they wouldn't work? I normally don't care about names but locality sounds almost offensive. 

Business parks and other campuses are not localities - their names are written before street names, not after them. They're IMO what RM calls "dependent thoroughfares". For these I would simply use addr:place, which can already be combined with addr:housename and addr:housenumber. Alternatively we could make a new tag like addr:campus.

Best regards, 

On 28 January 2019 20:36:24 GMT+08:00, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

Hi Will,

On 2019-01-28 13:19, Will Phillips wrote:


I agree we need another tag below addr:city for localities. For this I have usually used addr:suburb when mapping in urban areas and addr:locality elsewhere. Ideally I think it would be best to have just one recommended tag, perhaps addr:locality, because having addr:town addr:village and addr:suburb seems too complicated. Eventually it would be good if editing software, in particular iD, could provide an extra field to enter the locality, and it would perhaps be easier for that to happen if there was only one tag. New mappers often seem to have difficulty entering addresses to the form that they wish and I think the lack of a locality field is part of the reason.

For what Royal Mail calls 'Double Dependent Localities' using addr:sublocality is a possibility, although I wonder whether just sticking with addr:village for this less common situation would be easier. It depends a bit on whether this tag is only likely to be used for villages and hamlets, or whether it might be useful in other cases. For example, sometimes names of industrial estates appear in addresses in a similar way to sublocalities.


I don't see any advantage in "addr:village" and "addr:suburb" just because they sound familiar or are existing tags. What we are discussing here is a UK-specific solution. The (Double) Dependent Localities may or may not correspond to what people perceive as a "village" or "suburb". In the quoted example, "Cambridge Science Park" is IMHO neither.

I only use addr:city for post towns, although I recognise not all mappers agree with this, and I appreciate there are arguments both ways. I was thinking about this recently when adding addresses in Lees near Derby. The post town is Ashbourne, but this seems slightly incongruous because the village is much nearer to Derby. I chose not to include addr:city and only used addr:locality for the village name.


I feel the main argument in favour of using post towns for addr:city is that it helps to keep the data consistent because what to use often becomes confusing otherwise. To use the example of Lees I mentioned above, it would be easy to end up with a situation where addr:city contained perhaps four values if the data was entered by different people without any guide as to what to use (the most likely possibilities being Lees, Dalby Lees, Derby or Ashbourne).



In cases where local residents consider Royal Mail's choice of post town to be contentious, usually because it is miles from where they live, it might be sensible to recognise addr:posttown as an alternative.


The accepted paradigm is that the address should represent the postal address, and not any administrative relationships. As you will know RM have their own particular ideas of the geography of the UK, all done for their own convenience. It would certainly avoid some confusion if we used addr:posttown instead of addr:city.



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