This is a more fundamental problem than "which source is the correct one" --
names aren't properly defined to begin with.

The source for most of these names is simply what locals referred to things
as 100 years ago, and what managed to stick when some bloke on a horse with
a clipboard asked them.

For example "New Hall Hill" was likely a road that went up a hill to a hall
that had recently been built. if tho bloke with the clipboard had have
arrived 10 years later, it would likely have been noted as "Hall Hill" or if
he'd asked someone at the other end of the road, he'd likely have gotten
"Old Village Valley Lane" etc.

There is a lane a few miles from me, it had no name, but it had a doctor's
surgery near it. A few decades ago, some surveyer asked a local what it was
called and was told "Harley Street" (in reference to the street in london
with doctors surgeries on it) purly as a joke. This landed on an OS map, and
ended up on a road sign. This name came out of nowhere, but is now just as
much of a real name as any other road in the country.

There is also the problem that there are disagreements going on all the time
about what places should be named, Where I come from, there is a local
"debate" stagnating about the "boundary" between 2 areas (I personally
belive that they overlap). One of these areas is named after a farm, and one
side of the argument goes that the name refers to the farm, and not the
area, so the name shouldn't be used. By that logic half the place names in
the country should be removed.

Back on topic, (in my opinion) a place name is valid if a significant number
of people use the name. places, roads etc can all have multiple names, and
strategies of using alt names should be used.

The actual "name" field should be set at the most commonly used name. This
should almost certainly be the name on the road signs, however as noted,
this is not always clear cut, and I know of at least once instance where the
only road sign has a blatant spelling mistake in it.

If all else fails the locals should be consulted (and actually listened to),
as it's them that actually define this stuff for real. In an ideal world, a
full election of everyone on the electoral roll living on the street would
be good, not that that's even remotely feasible. at the end of the day
common sens needs to take over.

The first 3 lines of my parents' address are all debatable to varying
degrees, so this isn't actually an infrequent issue. Someone from far away
using widely held beliefs about the name of the county, and consulting
widely spread data about the naming of where they live could have serious
problems trying to find them.

So in summery, use the best info that you have available:
1) residents knowledge -- this is the closet to authoritive you can get
2) other local knowledge/signs
4) other data sources -- all of which can be subject to "errors"

but include everything that you can and have time to, as even erroneous data
will be searched for.


On 6 August 2010 15:34, Andy Mabbett <> wrote:

> On Fri, August 6, 2010 13:33, Jason Cunningham wrote:
> > The classic problem is where the road street sign says something like
> > 'Dukes Drive' but OS locator states Duke's Drive.
> > Has anyone heard of how this problem is dealt with by authorities
> Would stripping punctuation (and perhaps white space ("New Hall Hill" vs
> "Newhall Hill") before making comparisons cause any problems?
> --
> Andy Mabbett
> @pigsonthewing
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-GB mailing list
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