Usage of addr:place in the UK

Posted by will_p on 28 January 2019 in English (English)

Here are some thoughts regarding usage of addr:place (discussion specific to the UK). This tag is intended to be used instead of addr:street in cases where addresses are grouped together by something other than a street name. It is needed in part due to the rule that addr:street should always match up with a highway using the same name.

It is a problematic tag because mappers use it to represent slightly different things. Below are some of the ways I’ve seen it used (the addresses aren’t real, but are based on real examples):

name=Acme Conservatories
addr:place=Midland Garden Centre [a business that hosts other separately operated businesses]
addr:street=Cedar Lane

addr:place=Mulberry Court [a tower block without a street name]

addr:place=Elm Retail Park [a retail park without street names]

addr:place=Derwent Business Park [a business park that does not itself contain street names, but there is a parent street]
addr:street=Maple Way

addr:street=Hawthorn Road
addr:place=Long Lane Industrial Estate [an industrial estate with street names]

addr:housename=Manor House
addr:place=Westby [a village which does not have street names]

addr:street=High Street
addr:place=Beeston [any village, town or suburb]

Opinions will inevitably vary on how right or wrong the different usages above are. I personally consider the last one (G) to be the most problematic. (B), (C) and maybe (F) most closely follow the usage recommended on the wiki.

The wiki includes a rule that an address should never contain addr:street and addr:place. This was only added recently and I certainly don’t think there is any reason to observe this just because the wiki says so, although I do recognise there is an ambiguity when both addr:street and addr:place are used. How should addr:housenumber and addr:unit match up with addr:place and addr:street? Should addr:place or addr:street appear first? Due to the ambiguity there is perhaps an argument for avoiding using both together, but this requires using other tags which only have limited recognition. Specially, where addr:street is used after addr:place, addr:parentstreet might be a better option. This tag is already needed to unambiguously map subsidiary/dependent streets with their parents. Where addr:place appears after addr:street, perhaps instead use addr:locality/addr:sublocality or some other similar tag.

It is better to avoid adding lots of new addr:* tags, but to fully add addresses in the UK, I think at a minimum we need addr:parentstreet and addr:locality (or other variants, such as addr:village, etc.). A tag for sub-localities, such as industrial estate names, would be useful too.

It would be helpful to have a wiki page for UK address containing examples of how to tag many of the more complicated addresses shown above. I have considered doing this myself in the past, but have realised more consensus is needed first.

Location: Beeston, Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, England, United Kingdom

Comment from Adamant1 on 30 January 2019 at 10:01

How come the tag is only for the UK? It would be really helpful to have something like that in America. Currently the landuse areas shopping centers and similar things get tagged with the place name, but it would be really helpful if it could also (or) be a part of the address scheme for each individual place instead. I guess there’d an operator tag, but it doesn’t seem correct in a lot of cases.



Comment from will_p on 30 January 2019 at 23:49


I don’t think there is any reason why addr:place can’t be used in America. My post was about the different ways the tag is being used in the UK and some associated problems. It is a worldwide tag, but I was limiting my discussion to the UK because that’s the area I’m familiar with.

I don’t know whether the American community has discussed the best way to map shopping centre addresses, if no alternative method has been agreed, I would go ahead and use addr:place.

Regards, Will

Comment from Paul Berry on 4 February 2019 at 12:43 has recently had some changes to it, but none mention addr:place. It looks as if other extant addr subtags could cover the what you want add:place to be used for. Having said that, maybe you could make a case for it by contributing to that page?

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