[Diversity-talk] How do you mapping gender neutral toilets? What should the unisex tag mean?

Hannah Cohoon johannacohoon at gmail.com
Tue Apr 24 16:46:16 UTC 2018

I was just adding some unisex bathrooms and was following the
toilets:for:unisex=yes method. However, I agree that unisex=yes is more
intuitive to mean "unisex bathroom" not "male=yes female=yes" and it's more
pithy than what I've been doing. I also just joined the project and had
initially assumed unisex=yes was correct until I saw the information here:

All that is to say, I support assuming unisex=yes means gender neutral and
think revising the wiki would be appropriate.

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 11:27 AM Rory McCann <rory at technomancy.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
> Let's have a wee talk about how should one map gender neutral (and
> gender segregated) toilets. There is a unisex=yes for toilets which
> looks like it might be the number one tag to use. The bog standard
> meaning of "unisex toilet"[1] is a gender neutral toilet, i.e. not
> segregated into separate male & female facilities.
> Many smaller public toilets are single occupancy and hence unisex, many
> larger public toilets (e.g. in shopping centers) are segregated. Social
> conservatives are mostly losing the battle on same-sex marriage, so
> their new target is trans people, and they're proposing "bathroom laws"
> to limit trans people's access to public life. Some organizations are
> making their toilets "gender neutral" in response. So there are probably
> a lot of gender neutral public toilets, and it's very useful for some
> people to know where they are.
> But I don't think that's how "unisex=yes" been used in OSM. The wiki
> page says "unisex=yes" is a shorthand for "male=yes female=yes". The
> JOSM validator used to suggest that replacement, until I filed a bug[2].
> iD's preset has 3 mutually exclusive options, Male, Female and Unisex,
> it won't let you add both male=yes female=yes.
> If I see "amenity=toilets unisex=yes", I would think this is a gender
> neutral toilet. If I see "amenity=toilets female=yes male=yes" I would
> think gender segregated. Big difference.
> I propose that we start viewing "unisex=yes" on toilets as meaning
> "gender neutral toilet", which is different from "male=yes female=yes",
> which is "gender segregated".
> Thoughts? Feedback? Anything I'm missing? Is unisex-yes tag being used
> by many projects? What do they interpret it as? It's good not to force
> things.
> A year ago Micah Cochran's suggestion[3] would be along these lines, but
> some changed to toilets:for:unisex=yes (etc.)
> Rory
> P.S. I am doing this as part of the "Diversity Quarterly Project"[4],
> which for the quarter is gendered toilets. Plenty of toilets have no
> male/female (and/or unisex) tag, and we should add those tags.
> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisex_public_toilet
> [2] https://josm.openstreetmap.de/ticket/15536
> [3]
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Toilet_Tagging_Improvements
> [4]
> https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Diversity_Quarterly_Project/2018_Q2
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Doctoral Student

School of Information at UT Austin

UTA 5.544
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