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In York County, PA, there is a township called York Township. York Township has multiple postal (zip) codes, and not all of them are York (city) post codes. For example, some of the houses and roads in York Township have an 17313 postcode of the nearby borough of Dallastown, PA. Another part of the township has a 17356 postcode of the nearby borough of Red Lion, PA. However, all of these addresses are actually in York Township. The only problem is that since a township boundary (admin level 8 for PA) has a higher priority over the postal boundary, Nominatim overrides my postal boundaries for Dallastown and Red Lion and returns incorrect address results:

Like for example: 123 Example St, York Township, York County, PA 17313, but it should say

123 Example St, Dallastown, York County, PA 17313 even though the address is in York Township.

How can I adjust tagging of the 17313 and 17356 postal code boundaries so that the actual name of the postal code town shows up, not York Township (postal boundary has priority instead)?

asked 16 Oct '14, 02:57

elite_mapper's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

closed 21 Oct '14, 21:43

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

The question has been closed for the following reason "regarded as "solved" by the questioner. Also see the self-answer." by aseerel4c26 21 Oct '14, 21:43

That is a bad idea. Do not misuse tags just to get your address shown correctly in Nominatim. If you come across a new concept while mapping, like postal towns, then you should invent a new tag and discuss it with the community to get a consensus on how to use the tag. Once that is done you can approach the developers of the software and ask to have the new tag implemented.

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answered 21 Oct '14, 07:20

lonvia's gravatar image

accept rate: 40%

US Postal code boundaries are not kept in OSM, because there really aren't postal code area boundaries in the US. ZIP codes are technically collections of routes, so they're line, or in some cases, point data. Postal_code is definitely used on buildings/POIs in the US, though. The US Census produces ZCTA (Zip Code Tabulation Area) data, but these are just approximations of postal code boundaries.

This question is really an issue with the Nominatim processing. Nominatim is what powers the OSM place search, and while it uses OSM data, it also uses other data too. Look up the nominatim tag here in the forum, and you'll see many similar questions.

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answered 16 Oct '14, 16:49

neuhausr's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

edited 16 Oct '14, 17:38


But YES we have postalcode boundaries in OSM!

Try for a part of Germany in the Wizard of :

boundary=postal_code and type:relation in saarland

But I am not sure how we can adapt the tagging of those "clear and simple" postalcode areas on other countries like USA.

(16 Oct '14, 16:57) stephan75

oops, my bad, I'll revise to make my answer US-specific

(16 Oct '14, 17:29) neuhausr

@elite_mapper provided an own answer (in revision 3 of the question text):

I added an boundary=administrative and place=locality tag to the postcode boundary so the addresses inside of it takes on whatever name of the postal town it it assigned to, like it is supposed to.

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answered 21 Oct '14, 21:39

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 21 Oct '14, 21:39

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question asked: 16 Oct '14, 02:57

question was seen: 5,875 times

last updated: 21 Oct '14, 21:43

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