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

Dale Puch dale.puch at gmail.com
Mon Aug 23 23:35:34 BST 2010

I basically agree with Mike

A couple of links for reading relating to this discussion.  (Several are


Reading a few of these...
These are guidelines for NEW names, and old existing names can be and are a
mess in some places.
I do not think there is any sure fire way to deal with the names due to the
older ones that did not follow such conventions.  Because of this any thing
presented must be guidelines, and clearly state that not all roads will
clearly fit them.  They should probably be based on the newer naming
conventions, and anything that does not fit should all be left in the base
It seems clear that directions do convey meaning such as which part of a
long road, and that they are part of the name as much as road or street is.
The full name should be broken up into components.  Applications using the
databse can decide how much and how they will make use of that information.
Such as abbreviate, or drop directionals.

What locals use can be placed in another tag if it differs from the official
name, but should not be the primary name in the database.  Local
governmental standars do affect how we try to break up the names, but not
how locals (as in along that street) use the names.

On Mon, Aug 23, 2010 at 3:59 PM, Mike Thompson <miketho16 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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
> signs.
> 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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Dale Puch
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