Completing all the buildings & addresses in OSM

Julien Minet & Joost Schouppe OSM Belgium


Adding a friture is easy in a mobile app - if there's data already

But less so when they are missing

And of course, geocoding!

Why mapping addresses & buildings is a lot of work

Manual work

Import tool

   - Brussels import: before the dawn of time; no tool needed

   - Flanders: buildings+addresses available since 2016. Slow import since early 2019 with specialized tool

   - Wallonia: PICC open data since 2019

   - added Wallonia & Brussels (for updating) to the tool early 2022.

built by Glenn Plas

Quick demo → JOSM → JOSM

Quick demo

Conflating in JOSM

Quick demo

  1. Use the tool
  2. In JOSM, copy-paste the buildings
  3. (Simplify them)
  4. If overlapping, conflating (utils plugin 2)
  5. Run validator, double check everything
  6. Upload

Quick demo

It's a lot about shortcuts...

  • copy: CTRL + C
  • paste: CTRL + ALT + V
  • simplify: CTRL + SHIFT + Y
  • conflate: CTRL + ALT + G
  • add extra nodes: N

Quick demo

When you find weird stuffs (the most interesting!)

  • different building shape → correct the shape + tag with "source:geometry=outdated"

Quick demo

When you find weird stuffs (the most interesting!)

  • new building → add it and tag with "source:geometry:ref=missing" + "start_date"=* + "fixme"="housenumber missing"
  • razed building → keep it but tag it with "razed:building=*" or "demolished:building=*"


Feedback for the government

- direct feedback

- OSM data = feedback

Feedback for the government


On 5883 imported buildings:

  • 76 new buildings not in PICC -> "source:geometry:ref=missing"
  • 17 razed buildings -> "razed:building" or "demolished:building"

Ex. with Neufchâteau (OSM diary post)

How far along are we?


Some notes...

  • OSM address notation is compact (we expanded for analysis)
  • Addresses are weird
  • Differences in building scope (between mappers, between datasets)

What's next?


  • Blank areas (no buildings, no addresses)
  • Buildings without addresses
  • Buildings with address but need update (new buildings, bad shapes, ...)
  • All buildings of Belgium

Don't miss the others challenges!

How can you help?

Let's work together

  • Contact OpenStreetMap Belgium
  • Use our feedback / compare datasets

For government/region data producer

Start mapping...

  • read the documentation

  • subscribe to the Element channel
  • let's organise with the umap...

For OSM contributors

Join us

Why OSM needs buildings & addresses

By joost schouppe

Why OSM needs buildings & addresses

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