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

Alan Mintz Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.Net
Tue Aug 24 02:03:11 BST 2010

At 2010-08-22 19:28, you wrote:
>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.

And almost all the cities I've surveyed/mapped/lived in/visited in LA, 
Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties in southern California[0], 
as I said previously. A whole bunch of places.

>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).

I disagree. There is no reason to think that they are not also trying to 
show that the directional is part of the block number, not the name, and in 
exactly the way that one would expect - by making it smaller and positioned 
with the block number, and not the name. Logic says this is the more likely 
intent of the sign makers. When someone uses a different font in a 
document, they are usually trying to tell the user that the information is 
of a different type than that shown in other fonts.

Here in LA, at intersections with signals, there are usually large, lighted 
street signs hanging from those signal support structures. They usually do 
not contain the address ranges, and also do not contain the directional. 
Lower, on the corners, there may be signs that do contain this information. 
One sign has address information, the other does not. The one with address 
info includes the directional, the other does not. Logic says they are 
trying to associate the directional with the address info.

All that aside, multiple types of land records for different uses, as well 
as existing maps, all agree (in the areas I'm talking about).

>  Hence,
>somethings, such as the directionals, and "type" (e.g. St, Ave, etc)
>are often in smaller font.

And I have proposed that the type be moved into its own field as well, as 
it is in many GIS databases. In some cities, the type does not appear on 
the overhead signs either.

>  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.

By not adding a single letter and a space? Really? That just doesn't make 
sense. Again, I'm not saying it's impossible - just that it's far less 
likely to be the correct interpretation.

>I also wouldn't put too much weight on what locals call the street in
>everyday conversation.

You want to ignore the most obvious interpretation of signage, records, and 
existing maps. Now we're going to exclude the knowledge of the people that 
actually live with and use the information, too? What's left? Personal 
opinion of how things ought to be?

>I don't agree with the unique intersection test.

Neither do I. Here: 
, Mayhew Canyon Rd intersects Campbell Ranch Rd in two places. The 
intersections are signed with a trailing direction in parentheses:

The rest of the intersections along the road, as well as county records, 
just say Mayhew Canyon Road:

In other places, like here: 
, the street name actually changes, again according to signs and records.

I don't think we can create absolute rules for this - you either know it's 
one way or the other in your area (based on agreement of signage, records, 
and local usage), or you don't. If you know, move the prefix out of the 
name. If you don't, don't. I'd suggest having the discussion with local 
mappers before doing a large area to resolve any valid objections.

Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.net>

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