[Tagging] building attributes

John Sturdy jcg.sturdy at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 16:03:52 GMT 2012

On Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM, Martin Koppenhoefer
<dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:
> I want to raise attention to this page:
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/Building_attributes
> which most of you certainly are aware of. This page is pretending to
> be a proposal page, but actually has become mostly a documentation
> page for several application programmers to document how they evaluate
> certain tags. By reading the discussion page it seems that different
> applications have sometimes different interpretations of the same
> tags.
> None of the definitions there have ever been voted on, and most have
> not even been discussed before they were put there.
> Wouldn't be a problem if it were logical, coherent and consistent, but
> unfortunately it isn't.
> ...
> I am not sure how to best deal with this, maybe we should split up the
> page into several parts and start discussing on those more digestable
> units, to get some of them approved subsequently to have a better
> distinction between the first tagging ideas and the well discussed and
> reflected consensus suggestions.


> 2. min_height=*  Approximate height below the building structure
> -> is not a "height" or a "minimum height" IMHO. The intention is to
> tag the difference between the elevation of the ground and the
> elevation of the lowest part of the building (missleading tag name).

I think "clearance" is probably the best word here, as it's used for
indicating the height from the road surface to the underside of a
bridge over the road, which I think is similar enough.

> 3. building:roof=*       Roofing material
> -> is missleading, should better be "building:roof:material"

Yes, building:roof might be useful for "flat" or "pitched".

> 5. building:min_level=* Number of stories between ground and actual
> first existing floor
> -> I'd completely discourage usage of this key, and suggest to
> estimate the elevation of the lowest part of the building.

This needs to take into account that some buildings are built on
sloping ground, and the floor which is at ground level on one side of
the building may not be on ground level at the other side.

> 7. building:levels:top=*         The kind of top floor, if applicable. e.g.
> no/false/roof (standard), garden, gardens and roof gardens
> -> should/could be called "building:level:top" because the logics of
> "levels" is that of an amount of building levels.

This could be part of building:roof, with values including flat,
pitched, garden, terrace for example.

Also as solar panels on buildings are becoming more common, perhaps we
should think about how to tag them (are they under "building" or under
"power", for example?)


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