Proposed features/House numbers/UnitedStates

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Proposed expanded tagging for addresses in the United States

A proposed set of tags to better describe and tag addresses in United States (and perhaps Canada).

  • Most of the rationale for this proposal is outlined in a presentation given at the State_Of_The_Map_U.S._2012 conference. The presentation outlines the peculiarities of American addressing practice and why the current set of tags are insufficient for accurate addressing.
  • These proposed tags do not remove any existing address tags. They extend the current scheme by adding more tags, and change the definition of the Key:addr:street tag.
  • Under this scheme, the Key:addr:street tag would be redefined and restricted to the name of the street, e.g. "Broadway", "Main" and NOT include the street type.
  • Directional prefixes and suffixes are accorded their own tags and NOT included in the Key:addr:street tag.
  • These tags implement some of the suggestions for expanding Directional Prefix and Suffix Indication
  • See the Address Improvement page for the rationale for this proposal and more resources related to Address Improvement.
  • Note: this implies that tagging on ways (name=*) might need to be expanded with a similar scheme.
Name Tagging Used on Definition Rendered as Status Draft start RFC start Vote start Vote end
Street Name Prefix addr:street_prefix = * WayNode Preceding text modifying a street name, e.g. ”The”, or “Old” * Proposed 2012-11-16 2012-11-16 * *
Street Name Directional Prefix addr:dir_prefix = N,S,E,W,NE,SE,NW,SW WayNode Directional modifier for street names appearing as a prefix * Proposed 2012-11-16 2012-11-16 * *
Street Type addr:street_type = * WayNode Street type modifying street name, e.g. "Avenue", "Lane", "Drive",“Rue”, “Calle” * Proposed 2012-11-16 2012-11-16 * *
Street Name Directional Suffix addr:dir_suffix = N,S,E,W,NE,SE,NW,SW WayNode Directional modifier for street names appearing as a suffix * Proposed 2012-11-16 2012-11-16 * *



Counter Proposal for expanded address tagging in the United States.

The proposal above does nothing to help the addressing problem in the US. The only thing it does is add more tagging work. Since the street names in an area are limited, a look-up table of full street name as the primary key to the individual proposed tags above could be developed.

Two new tags are needed for two mapping objectives. One, the proposed tags would take the existing closer to United States Postal Service publication 28 for most all current automated mailing. Two, the proposed tags would make address display on rendered data useful for location purposes.

A new relationship is needed to help solve the addressing problem in OSM data. Steve Coast says that the lack of addressing is hurting the project. Addressing in OSM data provides geocoding of the addresses. One problem is how do you account for all unique addresses in a building? The current Karlruhe schema favors structure addresses. A relationship as implemented by the JOSM Tomb Plugin is needed. Search results can be improved if I know which building has suite 1001.

Need for and addressing relationship.
Examples where the current scheme has short comings in the US.
Name Tagging Used on Definition Rendered as Status Draft start RFC start Vote start Vote end
Street Name Building addr:building = A, 1 WayNode Building designation in a large complex with the same addr:housenumber * Proposed 2013-01-29 2013-01-29 * *
Street Name Suite addr:suite = 1001 WayNode Address suite number for either a large building or when several addresses share the same address. This is the most important of the two new tags that are needed. This is different that the definition of addr:unit on the address key page. The addr:unit definition could be changed to include this idea. * Proposed 2013-01-29 2013-01-29 * *
Address Relation type = address Relation A node or way would be included in the start of the relationship. The additional relationship items would be a list of addresses in, say, a building. The addresses would use the normal addressing scheme to enter the address information. * Proposed 2013-01-29 2013-01-29 * *