[Tagging] Government buildings

Craig Wallace craigw84 at fastmail.fm
Mon Dec 7 04:15:30 GMT 2009

On 07/12/2009 02:39, Steve Bennett wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 12:35 PM, Craig Wallace <craigw84 at fastmail.fm 
> <mailto: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 
> department.

Maybe if you think of the tag as "offices", but the OSM standard is 
usually to use the singular form of words. Or as an abbreviation for 
"office block" or "office buildings" etc. Similar to shop=mall, even 
though it may contain many individual shops.
And in a similar way, you could tag the whole building as office=yes (or 
office=government etc), as well as mapping the individual offices / 
departments within it with office= tags.

>     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.

Though the public_building tag is already uses thousands of times, for 
what seems to be a wide variety of buildings. I've used it a few times 
for council/government offices (open to the public), but that's mainly 
because I couldn't find any better tag..

>     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.
Its also worth checking osmdoc to see what tags people are actually 
using. eg it has 59 uses of shop=charity (which seems rather low, I 
think I added about 5 of those), plus a few similar variations: 
shop=charity probably should be added to the wiki.
I've not heard of an "op shop" before - checking Wikipedia, its an 
Australia / New Zealand term, I think charity shop might be more 

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