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

Mike Thompson miketho16 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 23 20:59:41 BST 2010

You have caused me to do some real thinking and digging on this
subject.  I think this debate is good, and will lead to better OSM
data in the long run.

I think the "rules" should be replaced with the following "guidelines".

If the directional is on the street sign, this is a strong indication
that it should be part of the name.  Pre-directionals are included in
at least some street signs in Columbus Ohio, but not in SLC.  Note,
the size of the font does not mitigate the fact that they are on the

If official local government sources use pre-directionals, this is
very strong indication that they should be part of the name.  The
Franklin County Ohio (where Columbus is located) Highway engineer
includes directions in some cases on their maps. Note "E. North
Broadway" and "W. North Broadway" on the following map:
http://www.fceo.co.franklin.oh.us/Map-Atlas%20Pages/map_19.PDF, but
not all.  Note "W Broad St" in this map from the same source:
http://www.fceo.co.franklin.oh.us/Map-Atlas%20Pages/map_27.PDF. Also,
the Franklin County Auditor often uses directionals in their property
database, although not consistently.

If local residents and businesses _ever_ use directionals when talking
about a street, this is an indication that it should be part of the
name (I think we agree on this one).

>> 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.
> That will hardly every apply.
A very good indication that pre-directionals should not be removed
from the name tag outside of Utah.  A city style address consists of a
building number, and a street name (we are not concerned here with
city state or zip).  If the directional is part of the complete
address, it must be either part of the building number, or the street
name.  If is not on the front of the building with the building
number, then it must be part of the street name.

> Again you are taking that test too literally.
"Tests" are to be taken fairly literally.  With these "tests" in the
proposal, a new mapper may easily get the impression that in OSM
pre-directionals are almost always to be removed from the name tag.

> This test will fail in Washington DC and other places where the
> directionals are really needed.
The point should not be just whether directionals are needed, but
whether they are regarded by local residents, businesses, and
government officials as a part of the name.  This should be evidenced
by signage, official local government documents, and local usage
(again, I think we agree on this final guideline).

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