[OSM-talk] addressing

Ben Laenen benlaenen at gmail.com
Tue Dec 9 13:24:46 GMT 2008

On Tuesday 09 December 2008, Christoph Eckert wrote:
> Hi,
> > But meanwhile - mostly because it is so easy to do in JOSM - many
> > people simply tag the whole shebang (addr:country, addr:town,
> > addr:post_code, addr:street, addr:house_number) onto every house
> > node.
> though I attended the workshop where we developed the scheme, I think
> we meanwhile could do better. Using the proposal of a street
> relation[1], we could easily make linking housenames to streets much
> more robust and reliable. Just add the nodes with the house names to
> those relations. Counting them in the planet file shows a significant
> amount: bzcat relations-latest.osm.bz2 | grep -i 'tag k="type"
> v="street"' | wc -l 1767
> I just posted an example:
> http://www.christeck.de/wp/?p=131
> I also put it as a proposal to the wiki. If it's not appreciated,
> feel free to edit it[2] :) .

+1 for the type=street relation. It's badly needed, but let's keep it 
separate from house number proposals for now. There are reasons enough 
why a street relation is useful apart from house numbers:

* name description: not really necessary data, but fun to map anyway: 
extra information written on a street sign telling where the street 
name comes from (who the person was, or what it means). You just can't 
add that to each highway that belongs to the street when it exists out 
of a dozen ways.

* other data related to the street, like pointers to decisions made by 
the municipal government with traffic rules for that road etc. (which 
could help in keeping things updated later on)

(so basically that means losing data duplication, but it of course means 
that renderers need an update to handle it if we also put the 
streetname in there as well and no longer in the highway=X ways).

* you can add all nodes with things that belong to that street to the 
relation (shops, bus stops, etc.) and there's no more ambiguity in some 
cases in which street something is.

And these house numbers are just another reason (at least Karlsruhe 
scheme). But I must say I really dislike the name "associatedStreet" as 
is currently written down in that proposal. It looks pretty bad to me 
as it's by name not universal enough since it can be used for much 
more. Just add it to the street relation and be done with it.


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