Back in Newton Mearns

Posted by Electrotechie on 28 October 2012 in English (English)

Except for some very new streets, all names around my place are finished. Next is to identify businesses better. Been working also on house numbers but that ain't easy in Newton Mearns. Only walking about gets it accurate since streets are at the back of houses so houses each side of the paths are on different streets. Also, no number 13s which threw me for a while.

How do the posties manage when large numbers of houses decline to exhibit their numbers?

Location: Newton Mearns, Mearns, Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire, Scotland, G46, United Kingdom

Comment from Sanderd17 on 28 October 2012 at 16:49

if you look to the taginfo stats about the tag addr:housenumber, you will see that it has a nice system.

  • it starts with 1, and higher numbers are used less and less
  • round numbers (10,20,30,...) are used more than others
  • the number 13 is used a lot less

it also struck me when i discovered it.

Comment from Electrotechie on 28 October 2012 at 17:09

Hi Sanderd17, I had no idea that 13s were so unpopular thanks for the pointer on how to look things like that up (I didn't know it could be done). However, it is not the first problem I have struck. I started numbering the houses in Anvin, France. Use openlinkmap and search for "anvin station, france". Zoom in and look at the house numbers opposite the station (it is all I have done at the moment). Now THAT is what I call tricky to map - you just gotta visit or spend ages with the cadastre.

Comment from Sanderd17 on 28 October 2012 at 22:08

I know how difficult housenumbers are. I'm currently doing almost nothing but housenumber mapping.

One of the things I did before, just because I couldn't find the house myself on any map, was this:

If you now search for the "Biezenhof D10, Roeselare", Nominatim will point to the right house. But Google will fail at it miserably.

Btw, sorry for not giving the link previously, I was on my phone. Here it is:

Comment from Kerswell on 29 October 2012 at 04:42

In England (don't know about Scotland) house numbers are assigned by councils, acting as Street Naming and Numbering Authorities.

Comment from Electrotechie on 29 October 2012 at 09:40

Sanderd17, I looked at what you did on the url you gave. It is very nice. I am still learning. I noted a couple of things:

  1. Your houses are members of "associated street". I am a novice and have never done that. Do you do that all the time and is it used by any renderer yet? I tend to put the full address including country etc on every house; not that it is difficult but I note that you only put number and street on. I suppose I should check what others are doing as well to be consistent.

  2. for "no exit" you tag the end node of a way. I have been tagging the way. The advantage of yours is that at least you can see the result in Josm whereas I cannot see any such markers on ways. I think i might change to your scheme.

So thankyou for your input

Comment from Sanderd17 on 29 October 2012 at 12:40

I'm also in doubt about this. Usually, when tools want to reverse geocode (transform a written address into coordinates), they have to bind houses with the streets and cities.

For binding to cities or countries, this is no problem if there are boundaries. It's not so difficult to programatically check if a house is inside our outised a boundary. So I never add that info (it's just easier for me, and it avoids typos).

For binding to streets, the address information on the wiki states the following:

  • if addr:street=* is given, bind to the closest street with that name

  • if the house is member of an associatedStreet relation, bind the house to the closest street in the same relation

  • else: bind the house to the closest street with a name.

But, this is only in theory. I've meanwhile noticed that it's a lot easier (as a data user), to not use the associatedStreet relations. If you use those relations, you still need to select the correct part of the road, and you have extra checks to preform such as member checks etc. If you also know that working with relations is very slow (certainly with big data sets), you will see that only the very well developed tools (such as Nominatim) use it.

The only advantage I still see in creating an associatedStreet relation is for the mapper. It makes it very easy to select all houses of the same street, to apply the same tags to it (such as the streetname), and to check if the right houses are present. Although it can be done via the JOSM search function too, it's a bit easier for us. But you should only add it if it seems useful for you.

Summary: always include an addr:street, and only use associatedStreet relations if you think it's useful.


The "no exit" tag is only useful for other mappers, so they know I did finish that way, and it's not connected in reality. It also makes sure that the quality assurance tools don't complain about unconnected ways. I added it to the end note, precisely because it's rendered in JOSM, which means mappers can see it, and so it's more useful.

Comment from Electrotechie on 29 October 2012 at 15:45

Sanderd17 - thankyou for the clarification. I use JOSM for all my edits but view in other renderers to look at the result (OSM and openlinkmap). So far the way I have been doing numbering is to give one house in a street its full address including street, city etc. Then do a copy of the house. Then select all the houses that I will number and do a "paste tags" i.e. they then have the full address but all the same house number. Then go through and fix the house numbers. A tad tedious, but it does work. I think I will continue like that in the light of your comments.

I think I will start using your technique for "no exit" on the end node of a cul de sac.


Comment from marscot on 1 November 2012 at 20:12

looks good, you have done some good work there. I put the address into a node in the building where the door is, also means you can add access private or public, wheelchair access yes no, even stairs yes no,

Login to leave a comment