How to properly tag a post office brand/operator?

Hey guys,

We were discussing a new project, to update tags of our Brazilian Postal Service (Correios), using the Name Suggestion Index (NSI) suggestions at iD.

However, I was quite confused with the suggestions, so I want to be sure if NSI is giving us the appropriate tags or if we should update them at NSI.

Our postal service is public (like USPS, for example) but they have their own agencies and franchised ones (operated by private people). So, in my opinion the tags to be used are brand and brand:wikidata, but NSI suggests operator and operator:wikidata.

Looking at the post office wiki we have:

  • brand=* - brand of the postal service provider
  • operator=* - if a company other than the postal service provider operates the post office facility.

So it seems to me that all post offices in Brazil should have the brand tag, and if known by the mapper, the operator tag as well (which might be the same as the brand or might be different if the operator is another company/person).

Doing some tests on iD, with known post offices companies, NSI suggests:

DPD: brand and brand:wikidata
UPS: brand, brand:wikidata, operator and operator:wikidata
Fedex: brand and brand:wikidata
DHL: brand, brand:wikidata, operator and operator:wikidata
USPS: operator and operator:wikidata

We have these two pages at NSI:
24 entries at Brand
136 at Operators

So, how should we use those tags properly?

Ah, I see some discussion on NSI Github here and here.

From what I understand, they moved all postal services from brand to operator, and it seems it was not the best idea…

For franchise operator is clearly wrong and brand should be used.

EDIT: for user-visible branding stored by NSI. See below when operator is applicable.

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Unless you are wanting to tag the name of the franchisee. operator would be correct for that, no?

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Yes, but in all cases known to me it is basically unsigned, and not important for anything.

In my experience you can get this info only by looking at receipt/invoice.

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In my mind it is important who operates an office. I would use operator tag everywhere. I would use brand only if operator runs under different brand.

There is also situation when one postal office is run by one operator but works for several brands. This is often with sending and receiving money services.

Note that such tagging requires researching legal situation and ownership and cannot be done based on signage. Many businesses operate as a franchise without clear indications.

Who cares? If you from the street see title Correios then tag it as an operator. If someone objects let him make a change or ask him pro provide evidence and then change yourself.

I don’t understand this, isn’t a franchise someone who operates under a brand that they are franchise of?

The operator is the one operating, no need to say it is different for postal services. Brand is fine for the brand while operator refers to the name of a business (or public entity etc.)
We could suggest to omit operator if we suppose it is already implicit with the brand, but it doesn’t make it “wrong” to put an operator tag for the operator, at most it could be seen as redundant.

which is clearly verifiable. What’s the problem?

Thanks for all the answers!

The way I see, and based on your answers, is to tag like this:

1 - Use primarily brand and variations (brand:wikipedia etc) for all post offices.
2 - If desired, and known, add operator and variations. Can be the same as brand or different.

Is that correct?



This kind of editing often results in adding wrong info and damaging quality of operator tag.

For example adding operator=McDonald's to places operated as franchises.

If you only see branding then add brand. If you actually checked operator: add operator

I am not against adding operator - just strongly opposing adding it based on branding as it will fail for anything operating as franchise. And I am considering usefulness of that operator data a bit dubious, so I am not adding it myself.


this clears it up, then I am with you, it is a distinct property and has to be surveyed on its own

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And how can you tell looking from the street? People go to Mc’Donalds. That is what they are looking. They do not care if it is franchise. But what title is displayed above entrance.

It is better to tag is in some manner even if there is some non critical error, than not tagging it at all.

From your response I guess you suggest that if we cannot tell if something is franchise then we should not tag at all?

Then tag name and brand if people care about name and brand and do not care about operator

And primarily: if you surveyed name and brand then tag this info in name and brand tags. Do not put it into operator.

If operator is not confirmed then do NOT tag operator


I took this photo in the lobby of a Hilton hotel I stayed at earlier this year.

And this one of the sign outside:

This could be tagged:

brand=Hilton Garden Inn
operator=First Hospitality Group
owner=Michigan, Cermak, Indiana, LLC

The brand is the most important tag in this case as it matches the big sign everyone will see. I agree with @Mateusz_Konieczny’s assertion that operator (and owner) is probably not very important here. But it’s also perfectly correct, verfiable on the ground, and could be useful to someone at some point.