[Talk-us] Fwd: Feature Proposal - RFC - Directional Prefix & Suffix Indication

Mike Thompson miketho16 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 23 03:28:38 BST 2010

With the exception of SLC, other places in Utah that use a grid system
and perhaps a few other cities that only a local could identify, I am
opposed to your proposal.  In most places I have lived or visited, the
directional is an integral part of the name.  I concede that SLC (and
the rest of Utah probably) is different.  After my initial objection
to your SLC plan, I did further research, including checking the SLC
GIS website, it it appears that you are correct in that case.

I wouldn't put too much stock in the fact that directionals on street
signs are often in smaller fonts.  The people who are responsible for
such signs are trying to make them useful while holding down cost (and
not having street signs that are exceptionally long).  Hence,
somethings, such as the directionals, and "type" (e.g. St, Ave, etc)
are often in smaller font.  You have heard of cartographic liberty?
Small adjustments to the map that cartographers (or rendering sw)
makes to the map to make it more meaningful and at the same time
making ever thing fit on the sheet or screen?  This is exactly what
the people responsible for the signs are doing.

I also wouldn't put too much weight on what locals call the street in
everyday conversation.  When speaking about the streets I travel to
people, I use the shortest possible name that will be unambiguous in
the given context.  So instead of saying "North Garfield Avenue", I
simply say "Garfield" if I am speaking to someone that knows I always
take this street in my daily travels. For example, "did you see that
accident on Garfield on the drive in this morning?"  This does not
mean that this is the official name.  On the other hand, if I was
giving directions to an out of town guest, I would make sure I used
the full name so their would be no chance of confusion.

A test that I have not heard mentioned here is whether the directional
appears as part of the building/house number on the sides of buildings
(e.g 1705 W).  If it does, we know for sure that it is part of the
building number, and not the street name and it can safely be removed
from the street name.

I don't agree with the unique intersection test.  This works in SLC
because the combination of directional suffix of the street you are
on, with the direction suffix of any cross street will tell you what
quadrant you are in within the city (not to mention that the numeric
name will tell you exactly what block you are on).  Consider a city
that is not as well organized street wise.  The names of the cross
streets are in no particular order. You have a printed map based on
OSM data of the location you want to go to, but the OSM data does not
contain the directionals because there are no streets with the same
name that intersect both "N Main" and "S Main"  You are driving along.
 None of the cross streets match your map, but you figure you just
haven't gone far enough.  You do notice that in small print the street
signs have directionals, but since it is not on your map, you figure
it is inconsequential.  Could be a very frustrating experience.

On Sun, Aug 22, 2010 at 6:43 PM, Kevin Atkinson <kevin at atkinson.dhs.org> wrote:
> FYI:
> I didn't get any comments from the talk-us mailing this week.  So I assume
> either everyone agrees with me, or is sick of the subject :)
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 18:39:45 -0600 (MDT)
> From: Kevin Atkinson <kevin at atkinson.dhs.org>
> Reply-To: "Tag discussion, strategy and related tools"
> <tagging at openstreetmap.org>
> To: tagging at openstreetmap.org
> Subject: [Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Directional Prefix & Suffix
> Indication
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Directional_Prefix_%26_Suffix_Indication
> Tags to mark directionals which are more part of an address than the street
> name.
> Since this has been discusses extensivly on the talk-us page, I might start
> the voting process early if I don't get any feedback this week.
> _______________________________________________
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> Tagging at openstreetmap.org
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