[Talk-GB] UK street addressing

Alan Mackie aamackie at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 12:01:55 UTC 2020

I struggle with what to call the <BuildingName> in that example.

A recent suggestion for named terraces was to use addr:street=<TerraceName>
and addr:parentstreet=<StreetName>, but if the <HouseNumber> relates the
whole building to to parentstreet, then reconstructing an address seems

The closest existing tag seems to be add:housename=<BuildingName>, but I
don't know if that stretches the definition too much.

On Mon, 21 Dec 2020 at 06:41, Peter Neale via Talk-GB <
talk-gb at openstreetmap.org> wrote:

> At the risk of throwing another edge case into the pot (and mixing
> metaphors), can I ask how I should tag our flat?
> The Post Office Official postcode checker renders it as:
> Flat <FlatNumber>
> <BuildingName>
> <HouseNumber> <Street Name>
> where <HouseNumber> refers to the whole block and is common to all the
> flats.
> I cannot see what the Post Office is calling the various data fields, but
> I assume OSM would be happy with (taking elements from above)
> addr:housenumber=<HouseNumber>
> addr:street=<StreetName>
> addr:city=<POSTTOWN>
> addr:postcode=<POSTCODE>
> That just leaves me to deal with the "Flat" element.
> Consulting the Wiki, I THINK I can cover that with:
> add:flats=<FlatNumber>  (for one specific flat)
> ...or addr:flats=<FlatNumberRange> (for the whole block)
> However, I unsure whether to include the word "Flat" in the value field of
> "addr:flats=*", or not.  The Wiki page for Key:addr includes, as an
> example, "addr:flats=Suite 110A", which seems fine for a single living
> space unit.  It could be called "Flat 110A", "Suite 110A", "Apartment
> 110A", etc., so including the descriptor word could be useful to the data
> consumer.  However, the Wiki page for Key:addr:flats shows only numeric
> values.
> TagInfo shows 203.5k uses of "addr:flats", but only 38 uses of
> "addr:flats=*flat*" and 42 uses of "addr:flats=*suite*", again suggesting
> that only the unique value(s) (e.g. "1", "2", "13B", etc.)  are
> sufficiently used to warrant data consumers catering for them.
> So, should I omit the word "Flat", "Suite", "Apartment" etc., leaving the
> data consumer to guess (or to default to "Flat...")?
> Regards,
> Peter
> On Monday, 21 December 2020, 09:30:37 GMT, Robert Whittaker (OSM lists) <
> robert.whittaker+osm at gmail.com> wrote:
> Like it or not, in the UK addresses are defined by Royal Mail. They're
> introduced the concept of a "postal town", and this is one of the few
> common elements that each address must always have. Once you accept
> that the Post Town is intended to be a nearby significant place (to
> help with delivery routing and identifying the rough location of the
> addressed property) rather than being a place that the address is
> "in", then it's really no more of a fiction than the postcode. (The
> village I grew up in had a GL postcode, despite it being in
> Worcestershire. I've currently got an IP postcode, despite being in
> Norfolk and closer to Norwich (NR) than Ipswich.)
> On the basis that it's a required part of each address, I would
> recommend that we do store the post town in OSM addresses. There are
> significant advantages to storing it in a consistent way, and the best
> existing tag to do this would be addr:city. (We wouldn't want to
> invent a new tag (e.g. addr:posttown), since as a UK-only term that
> will simply be ignored by most international data consumers.
> We then have a possible hierarchy of named localities between the
> street and the post town to record as part of the address. I would
> suggest using appropriate values from the set {addr:hamlet,
> addr:village, addr:town, addr:suburb}. (I don't see any other
> alternatives to this.) Most of these key names already have a
> reasonable number of uses in OSM (addr:town is the lowest, but that
> still has 59k uses), so it seems that others are doing this too.
> Regarding properties (e.g. on named terraces or sub-streets), where
> there are two street names (Thoroughfare and Dependent Throughourfare
> in Rail Mail terminology) then we need a second key to store the other
> street name under. Certainly if there is an addr:housenumber or
> addr:housename, I think we need to use addr:street for the
> street/terrace name on which that name or number applies. Otherwise,
> software that's unaware of the second key name will think it's house
> number n on the main street not the sub-street. There are already
> about 3.5k uses of addr:parentstreet in OSM, so I'd recommend using
> that for the main street, and addr:street for the terrace or
> sub-street name. If any data-users aren't aware of addr:parentstreet
> it's not a major issue, since it will still pick up the correct
> terrace/sub-street name, and the locality, which will probably be
> enough to use as an address.
> I would strongly argue against using addr2 in connection with
> sub-streets, as it's not standardised, and is likely to not be picked
> up by any software. There's an abondoned proposal at
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/addr2 , but that
> was for the case of a single property on a street corner having two
> formal addresses, one on each street, not for the case of two streets
> in a hierarchy.
> Robert.
> On Sun, 20 Dec 2020 at 12:47, Dave Abbott <Dave.Abbott at pandaemonia.org>
> wrote:
> > 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...
> >
> > Dave Abbott  (OSM user DaveyPorcy)
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Talk-GB mailing list
> > Talk-GB at openstreetmap.org
> > https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-gb
> --
> Robert Whittaker
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