[Tagging] Government buildings

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Mon Dec 7 02:39:30 GMT 2009

On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 12:35 PM, Craig Wallace <craigw84 at fastmail.fm> wrote:

> I think this shows that an "office=" tag would be useful, per the thread
> on the talk list about lawyers/architects etc. eg for your example 1
> could be office=politician, and 2 and 3 could be office=government or
> similar (maybe plus a shop tag for 3 if it also sells things).

Hmm, office=politician seems ok, but office= seems weird for a whole

> There is also a tag for amenity=public_building, but that's a bit vague
> IMO.

A bit vague? No description on the map features page, and a non-definitional
definition on the amenity=public_building page, and you call it "a bit
vague"? :) You're very polite.

It actually sounds like the right sort of tag, it just needs to be defined.
In particular, "public building" doesn't necessarily mean the public can
visit it freely...simply that it's owned by the public, at some level.

> I'm not sure if there is any tags for research institutions, government
> funded or otherwise. There are various proposals on the wiki, eg:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/research_institutionor
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Science_Park
landuse=science_park sounds good to me.

> There was a thread on the newbies list about this a few weeks back. I
> think landuse is what the land is used for, not who owns it.

Yeah..I guess it's clear-cut than I thought. Around here, the trend has been
very much for the government to sell most of its buildings then rent
commercial office space for its departments.

> eg government/council workshops etc could be industrial. And the wiki
> says landuse=commerical is "Predominantly offices, business parks, etc",
> so could include government offices etc.

So again a problem is with the intuitive meaning of the key, rather than its
actual definition. "Commercial" very much sounds like "for-profit".

Also, the landuse tags are usually for the main use of a wider area, so
> a town centre that's mostly shops with a few government offices in it
> can still be landuse=retail etc,

Yeah, my problem is that I can't think of any way to tag the government
buildings at all.

> I've been using shop=charity for charity shops (plus tags for operator=
> etc), I don't know about the others.

Ah, didn't know about that one. I think I tried out shop=op_shop once. I
wish there was better synchronisation between the tags recognised by
Potlatch and those listed at Map Features.

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