[Talk-us] Directional suffixes on roads: yes or no?

Saikrishna Arcot saiarcot895 at gmail.com
Sun Nov 30 14:45:27 UTC 2014

Hi Jack,

I've been doing an import of addresses and buildings in Fulton County since March (time is limited on my hands, but I'm making progress). Atlanta is, for the most part, done, and I'm currently working in SW Fulton County.

Georgia's GIS system has the suffixes in their addresses, so I think it would be beneficial to have the street name with suffix in the main name tag.


I have a question about how much effort should be put into adding directional suffixes to road names. 

Many counties around Atlanta have adopted directional suffixes for roads, both in incorporated areas as well as outside city limits. Usually all areas in the county use the same system, with directions denoted NE, SE, NW and SW from some standard point, although some cities tend to ignore the suffixes. Also, signage is inconsistent--some street signs bear the suffix while others on the same street don't. 

In most cases, the suffix is immaterial, and most people don't use it anyway. Use of it or not won't affect directions most of the time, although I know of a few specific cases where knowing the suffix can be important in finding the right location (is your house 100 Concord Road Southeast or Southwest?).

The majority of the Tiger data doesn't include the suffix.

So, how much should I worry about the missing suffixes? Should they be included in the main name= tag? Or one of the other *name tags with the unsuffixed name in the name= tag. 

Because most people don't use the suffix, on some roads I've put the with-suffix name in the name= tag and the unsuffixed one in the short_name= tag, but I'm wondering if I should continue to bother. 


-- Typos courtesy of fancy auto-spell technology. 

Saikrishna Arcot
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