Address Improvement

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A project to provide better addressing in OSM.

The Problems

  • One-size-fits-all address schemas, such as the Karlsruhe Addressing schema, do not work well in many parts of the world.
  • The tagging systems in use in places where Karlsruhe doesn't work aren't documented. This makes it difficult to properly support these schemas in editors and routing software.
  • There is insufficient granularity and detail in the current tags. For example street name, type, and cardinals are all in one field.
  • The documentation isn't as clear as it should be especially with respect to the differences in tagging ranges as opposed to nodes.
  • Editor support for entering address data could be improved.

Ways Forward

  • Collect use cases, examples and documentation of different address schemas. Please help with this!
  • Examine how people gather address data and improve editors to support this.
  • Understand that we need to build on top of what we currently have, not replace it.
  • Work on completing and clarifying the documentation on addressing.

For the United States

We would like to see addresses compatible with US Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Standard. The standard provides a great deal of guidance on address structure as well as address classification and address context.

A proposed profile of the standard is found in this cross-walk between the US standard and OpenStreetMap: US Address Standard to OSM Crosswalk

This effort might build upon and extend the proposal for Directional Prefix and Suffix Indication.

Address data may be available from local, state and federal geodata. This page is an attempt to collect them.

Documentation, References and Use Cases





Fits nicely into the Karlsruhe-scheme, with street, housenumber, postcode and place. Almost invariably odd numbers on left side and even numbers on right.


United States

Other OpenStreetMap Address Resources & Discussions

Project Participants

If you'd like to contribute to this project, please add your name to the list below: