[Talk-GB] UK street addressing

Chris Hill osm at raggedred.net
Sun Dec 20 14:41:10 UTC 2020

Addresses in OSM are not the same as Royal Mail's addresses. RM 
addresses are all about their processes for delivering post to delivery 
points. The postal town (Largertown in your example) is a convenience 
for RM that we have all been persuaded is useful, but RM have ceased to 
use postal towns for many years!

I live in a village called Swanland, nearby is a similarly sized village 
called North Ferriby. There RM owned a building big enough to use as a 
post office and have a small sorting office behind it, so it was adopted 
as the postal town for a few villages. The sorting office closed about 
twenty years ago and sorting was moved to the town of Hessle then, yet 
still the postal town for Swanland remains North Ferriby.

Royal Mail don't use postal towns at all now, they use street address 
and postcode.

We should not put postal town into OSM addresses at all. They are a 
fiction invented by RM for their processes which they no longer use and 
they offer no benefit to OSM, indeed they simply add confusion to anyone 
seeing a postal town in an address.

To use your example I would tag the address as:

addr:street=Postal Street

Chris Hill (chillly)

On 20/12/2020 12:45, Dave Abbott wrote:
> Hi,
> I am trying to make sure I tag addresses correctly. I am currently 
> trying to understand how to map in my area.
> The postal addresses are like:
> 99 Postal Street
> Smalltown
> Largertown
> West Yorks XY9 7GY
> Smalltown is geographically separate to Largertown, which however is 
> the Postal Town. Omitting Smalltown from the address is probably 
> correct postally-speaking, but local residents would object as 
> Smalltown is seen as completely separate to other places under the 
> same Postal Town.
> Currently tagging as -
> addr:housenumber=99
> addr:street=Postal Street
> addr:city=Smalltown, Largertown
> But I am pretty sure this is wrong.
> There is a page at 
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/User:Rjw62/UK_Address_Mapping 
> which mentions "suggested tags" but there is no evidence that this is 
> in use. If correct I would be tagging as -
> addr:housenumber=99
> addr:street=Postal Street
> addr:town=Smalltown
> addr:city=Largertown
> Hoping someone can advise me as to the correct way to tag for the UK...

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