Address tags on bike rental stations that are only shown in-app?```

I’d like to ask the community for their opinion on this changeset discussion.

The operator of a bicycle rental network shows addresses of the rental stations in their app.

Should address tags which can only be verified in-app be added on bicycle rental stations that are not inside/part of a building?
  • Yes.
  • No.
  • I’m unsure.
  • Other.

0 voters

Arguments for adding address tags:

  • Tagging OSM objects with the addresses shown in the app would presumably facilitate querying/filtering rental stations.

Arguments against adding address tags:

  • The wiki currently intends the addr:* tag for usage on buildings only (and entrances thereof). The bicycle rental stations in question are not buildings.
  • The address of these stations cannot be verified outside the operator’s app.

What about object:* instead of addr:*.
That is an established tag.

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I cannot find documentation about the object:* tagging scheme on the wiki. Its meaning is not clear to everybody (for example not to me).

In the Wiki key:object

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Oh thanks. I hadn’t found that.

However, I have serious concerns:

  1. Not verifiable (doesn’t change just by using object:* instead of addr:).
  2. It’s unclear what the meaning of the object: prefix is. Isn’t everything in OSM an object? (see discussion of that wiki article).
  3. There seems to be little approval of the object:* tagging scheme by the community, presumably for the above-mentioned reasons.
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  1. true but could be verified by an addr:* of a near-by building
  2. object instead of addr is used when a postman/-woman cannot deliver mail to that ‘object’
    some folks use address information to locate their stuff
  3. Maybe, I did not check that, and maybe there is also not much support by tools then

If that’s the way the object:* is verified, then to me it seems redundant, since not adding any information that’s not already on the map. Also, if this practice were accepted, then it would become hard to argue against someone tagging everything with object:street, object:housenumber of the nearest building; including trees, hydrants, pedestrian crossings, trash cans, etc.

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Well, I did not invent object:*, so I cannot argue very well. But your concerns are valid.

In this particular case, where the operator of something identifies/locates it’s objects using addresses, object:* is better than addr:* - assuming that addr:* is somehow a postal address, where parcels and letters can be delivered to.

Otherwise: if the addr:* or object:* cannot be verified, it should not be tagged with it.


Are there addresses repeating nearest address assigned to a building? Or are these unique and separate from any other assigned addresses?

Also, what is license of this data if these are being copied from the app? (may also fall under Import/Guidelines - OpenStreetMap Wiki )


The wiki currently intends the addr:* tag for usage on buildings only (and entrances thereof). The bicycle rental stations in question are not buildings.

that’s just incomplete, addresses should go where they are assigned to (polygons / sites, buildings, entrances, gates, whatever) and where they apply to (features/pois).

  1. no, a nearby building can have its own address, if the address on an object is not verifiable, other nearby addresses are not confirming the address, they might be helpful to assess the likelihood of the address but can’t be used for actual verification

  2. post delivery is just one of many uses of addresses and should not be reason to change keys for the same kind of thing. Other possible uses are for example emergency access, identification for tax purposes, …

I voted No, as based on the linked change set the rental station doesn’t have a address on it’s own. If a rental station has a unique address, of course it can be tagged.

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That’s silly. It’s perfectly possible to have an address without a building. A smallholding can have an address. A building plot can have an address even though the building hasn’t been put up yet. Permanently moored boats can have an address. A marina can have an address even if it doesn’t have any buildings. And so on.


Not mentioning it’s totally fine to map an address and not map the building it belonging to. :wink:

All of those examples involve land or possible human residences. Most governments require that all physical place of ownership or residence has an addresses for tax purposes.

Sidewalks usually exist as an easements on private land. Making objects on the sidewalk share the same address as the property that runs underneath that section of sidewalk.This should be be reflected in any lease or other legal documents relating to the bike rental business at that location.

Thanks everyone for participating in the poll and for the informative, civilized and concise discussion.

I’m closing this thread. I suggest that any proposals for alternative tagging schemes or other solutions be discussed in separate (new) threads.

Can a moderator please close this thread? Seems I can’t do this.