Better address mapping with the JOSM "Coloured Streets" style

Posted by nickjohnston on 27 December 2020 in English. Last updated on 14 February 2024.

For months I’ve been mapping addresses in Cheltenham, England. I recently discovered the JOSM “Coloured Streets” style. It has improved my address mapping and might help you too.

The style shows streets and all the buildings and address nodes “on” them in the same colour. This makes it easy to spot buildings tagged with the wrong addr:street at a glance. It also clearly shows buildings with addr:housenumber or addr:housename (you must enable the latter in the settings) but no addr:street. (The JOSM validator checks for this too, but with Coloured Streets you can see the problem immediately.)

In this example, Ashcombe House, Outwoods, and Beechwood are in pink and therefore have an addr:street of Stanley Road, when they should be on Ashley Road. The mistake would not be obvious otherwise.

Screenshot of JOSM with the coloured streets style

If you look near the bottom right of this screenshot, you can see Windsor Street shown in orange:

Screenshot of JOSM with the coloured streets style showing a mistake

Going north, the street becomes Cleevemount Close–but something is wrong: buildings continue in orange (meaning they have an addr:street of Windsor Street) alongside Cleevemount Close, which is purple. The house numbers on this section of the street are consistent with the numbers on Windsor Street. The street alongside 58-68 is probably still Windsor Street, not Cleevemount Close. I double checked on the ground, and the street is indeed Windsor Street. I’ve fixed the problem.

Coloured Streets makes problems like these more obvious.

You can activate the style in JOSM by:

  1. Selecting the “View” menu.
  2. Selecting “Map Paint Styles”.
  3. Selecting “Map Paint Preferences”.
  4. Selecting “Coloured Streets” in the “Available styles” list and pressing the arrow to add it to “Active styles”.

As with any other JOSM style, it’s easy to toggle on and off, or to temporarily hide by switching to wireframe mode if the colours become overwhelming or distracting.


Comment from Raretrack on 28 December 2020 at 11:36

That’s a really good tip, Nick, thanks. I’m slowly (very slowly!) trying to improve and expand the map in my own home town (Letchworth) and this will come in very handy. Indeed, I’ve just looked at my own immediate locale and found a few unnumbered houses I’d missed!

Comment from scabiosa_trenta on 28 December 2020 at 20:32

Hello, and thanks for the great tip! I had some hard time to see which houses in the areas I map are not tagged, but with this plugin the problem seems to be solved!

Comment from nmombo12 on 18 October 2021 at 16:32

Thanks, this is going to be a great help!

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