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In the United States, we have ZIP codes which are large regions that have five digit numbers assigned to them for ease of sorting mail. I would like to be able to draw an area that is a ZIP code and then just apply it to every point made within that area (unless a user explicitly changed it, maybe). Is there a way to do this? If not, is there some bug/feature request process for it? This feature would make my editing much faster when adding addresses.

asked 14 Aug '14, 07:14

Justin_-koavf-'s gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Generally, do not do this. While technically possible with the JOSM editor, it is just too easy to introduce mistakes.

It is sufficient to add the polygon to OpenStreetMap and tag it boundary=postal_code (and then postal_code=xxxxx).

While you may use the addr:postcode tag to specify the post code for a single address, if your true source data is just a polygon (and you assume that every address inside that polygon will have a certain post code), then map that polygon. Adding addr:postcode to all addresses inside the polygon would just be fake accuracy - you don't really know that all these addresses have that post code, you just assume it.

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answered 14 Aug '14, 09:36

Frederik%20Ramm's gravatar image

Frederik Ramm ♦
accept rate: 23%

But I could do the same for something like city which is definitely Indianapolis. Alternately, the interface could be tweaked so that such-and-such ZIP code is the default but it can still be modified by users. (That's more of a feature request, though.)

(14 Aug '14, 17:45) Justin_-koavf-

For cities, the usual thing is to bound then with an area or a relation containing ways that form an area.

Generally the geocoding tools that us OSM data are smart enough to know that everything in that area is part of the city. Interestingly, I don't see that boundary around Indianapolis. I hope that it is just because I am not searching properly. I see that you edited the node for the city 7 days ago.

(14 Aug '14, 17:54) n76

In the US ZIP codes are not actually areas, they are linear lists of addresses maintained by the post office for delivery purposes (I believe they are based on the actual mail delivery routes). The census people create pseudo areas for their purposes but because ZIP codes are not really areas there are places where the census assumed ZIP code areas are wrong.

So in addition to Frederik Ramm's comment that you could do the edit in JOSM but it would be error prone, I'd like to add that it could be error prone because you would be assuming an area for data which is not area based.

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answered 14 Aug '14, 17:13

n76's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%

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question asked: 14 Aug '14, 07:14

question was seen: 3,174 times

last updated: 15 Aug '14, 14:12

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum