[Talk-us] USPS Post Boxes

Peter Dobratz peter at dobratz.us
Wed Sep 12 21:25:15 UTC 2018

It would be good to standardize on operator tags for the 4 major carriers
as you mentioned.  The logos for DHL, FedEx, and UPS have those exact
letters in them, so if people map what they see, then they will end up with
those exact values.  However, as mentioned, the USPS logo actually contains
the text United States Postal Service.

I could be convinced to switch my tagging from United States Postal Service
to USPS.  Are there any arguments to support the short form beyond it being
easier to type?

Both "USPS" and "United States Postal Service" are used within the text of
this page:
"The History Behind the USPS Logo"

Looking at USPS trademarks
and the USPS FAQ
you can see that "U.S. Postal Service" is another possible variation on the
same name.

Looking through Taginfo, OSM tag usage reflects the same inconsistencies as
in the USPS FAQ.  The following similar key/vales exist:
operator=United States Postal Service
operator=US Postal Service
operator=U.S. Postal Service

OSM Tag History can be used to graph total usage of these tags over time:

[image: taghistory_USPS.png]

All 4 lines on the graph are increasing over time with USPS and United
States Postal Service being an order of magnitude higher than the
variations with only the US abbreviated.  The graph doesn't yet reflect
Leif's efforts to standardize tagging (spike in USPS and dip in United
States Postal Service).

Once we come to a consensus, we should document on the OSM wiki pages for
amenity=post_box and amenity=post_office, and also flow to editor presets.


On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 8:18 PM Bryan Housel <bhousel at gmail.com> wrote:

> Can we please leave it as USPS?  Other shippers UPS, FedEx, and DHL are
> also abbreviated.
> The “expand abbreviations” rule is really for street addresses, not
> everything in OSM.
> Taginfo can show you what values are currently stored in the `operator`
> tag:
> https://taginfo.openstreetmap.org/keys/operator#values
> If we were to switch the `operator` field in iD over to a taginfo-based
> autocomplete, 2 things would happen:
> 1. It would show exactly the results in the url above, which contains all
> the operators (not just the postal ones).  It would not be a good list to
> pick from.
> 2. The taginfo service would crash.  We’ve been asked by Jochen not to do
> lookups against tags with a lot of distinct values (like “name” and
> “operator”) because queries like this are resource intensive.
> Thanks, Bryan
> On Sep 6, 2018, at 6:44 PM, Leif Rasmussen <354lbr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Peter,
> I would like to do the operator value conversion this weekend, but would
> also like to make sure to listen to all the reasons for not expanding
> USPS.  These include having the tagging style as consistent as possible,
> the long version being harder to type, a list of semicolon separated
> expanded operators being too long, and more.  These are valid concerns,
> which should be addressed before anything else happens.
> First, for keeping the tagging style as consistent as possible, each post
> box will be given the tag "operator:wikidata"="Q668687".  This way, even if
> the operator=* tags are changed later on, all post boxes will still be
> consistent and easy to querry.
> Second, for making sure that the operator tag is not too hard to type, I
> think that adding a taginfo based autocomplete to the operator=* field in
> iD could solve this.  I would have to open an issue about that on Github,
> though.
> Third, another fear was that a list of expanded operators separated by
> semicolons would be hard to work with.  I have no easy solution for this.
> Perhaps, iD could have something to organize the operator tags into blocks,
> rather than just text like other fields.
> I would like to convert the tags this weekend, so please let me know if
> you have any suggestions for how to make the conversion less problematic.
> Thank you,
> Leif Rasmussen
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