[Talk-GB] UK street addressing

ndrw ndrw6 at redhazel.co.uk
Mon Dec 28 16:06:01 UTC 2020

We may still discuss what tags to use for specific scenarios the overall 
scheme is fairly clear:
- addr: tags are reserved for postal addresses. This is an OSM-wide 
convention for all countries with a functioning postal systems. In the 
UK postal addresses are set by Royal Mail - we may not like their 
conventions, licensing or even the fact itself, but we should map 
reality as it is and not create our own.
- addr:city is the name of the post town associated with the postcode. 
Again, this is an OSM-wide convention and we shouldn't be changing just 
because we don't like RM choices. If addressing is good enough for 
utility bills it is good enough for us.

I quite like the addr:terrace tag - solves the problem nicely. In some 
cases like business parks they may be overly specific, though, so the 
choice is between inventing additional addr: tags where needed or 
settling on something more generic like addr:substreet.


On 28/12/2020 09:16, Tim Saunders wrote:
> I've been following the debate on UK street addressing with interest, given I am a recently retired Royal Mail employee...
> Whatever people might think about Royal Mail as a company, the fact is that it is (uniquely) regulated and licenced by OfCom to provide the postal universal service obligation in the UK, so as long as that remains the case it is not "just one of many" parcel operators.
> However, the more relevant point to OSM is that surely there are many different ways of addressing and therefore context is all.  Postal addresses and post codes are one example, but administrative, electoral, lat/lon (with your projection of choice), What Three Words, etc. are all valid depending on why someone is asking the question and who you ask.  I don't think it realistic that OSM can (or needs to) become the defining source of one true address.  However, I would advocate that it should become a means of locating or identifying addresses through any one of a number of methods (as long as the licencing allows this of course).   This should include a tag showing the Post Town (or being able to deduce the Post Town by reference to boundaries) because, if you ask someone their address, they may give you their postal address (without a postcode) so that is what you would want to search for.
> Regards,
> Tim S
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