Semantic contact information in HTML

When writing HTML-documents, it’s quite common to provide some contact information in the document. The same is true for whole websites, where you typically have some dedicated page containing detailed contact information. People nowadays understand that it can be vital for their businesses to use structued ways to describe their offerings and profiles and „beeing found“ is a key aspect to success in electronic business. One aspect of this, clearly is contacting information. To my knowledge, the usual way of providing this information is the addess-tag of HTML. The address tag was originally dedicated to specifiy the owner of single document but in real life it’s often used for the markup of the „virtual phonebook entry“ of a whole site. While Dublin Core (and meta tags like DC.creator and DC.subject) is more and more used to provide metadata concerning the copyright of individual documents, I look for a future-proof and simple way for the markup of contact information for a whole website. The requirements are rather simple: It should provide far more semantical meaning as the old address tag (which has no further refinement of contacting information then beeing an address) but it should be as simple and straight-forward as the address tag.
1 answer

Use the hCard microformat

hCard is a simple, open microformat standard, suitable for embedding in HTML. Technically it's a 1:1 representation of the popular vCard format for electronic business cards. It resembles the properties and values of the vCard format through elements of HTML.

An address, which has the following markup using the HTML address tag

Max Mustermann
Musterstraße 10
1010 Wien

would have the following markup in hCard

<div id="hcard-max-mustermann" class="vcard">
<span class="fn">max mustermann</span>
<div class="adr">
<div class="street-address">Musterstraße 10</div>
<span class="postal-code">1010</span> <span class="locality">Wien</span>
<div class="tel">0664/666333</div>

This still is plain old HTML, but provides much more semantic details through all the class annotations. hCard pretty much looks like the way to go for now, this is also supported by the fact that Google Maps is using it for the annotation of addresses.

Much more details on hCard can be found at