[Tagging] [OSM-talk] Mapping guidelines

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 16:11:37 GMT 2012

2012/1/17 Richard Weait <richard at weait.com>:
>> you get the border between public and private land. Why is that not
>> helpful or interesting?
> You get the border between public and private land _wrong_.  In my
> experience, the property line is not at the curb, but some distance
> back from the curb.  A reserved area is held for utilities, road
> expansion, snowplow debris, etc.

I totally agree (besides to the "wrong", because I never said I'd make
the curb the border, usually I'd use the fence (if any, mostly there
are in here) for this. Anyway: it is clearly an approximation, and we
can always improve this in the future.

> There is not necessarily a direct connection between landuse and
> zoning.

yes, landuse is about the actual landuse, zoning is about the legally
permitted landuse.

> Is a home-based daycare residential or commercial, or
> commercial / residential.  (Or residential commercial=permissive)

guess "home-based" is quite clear.

> What about a home-based medical practice or barber shop?

I find it perfectly acceptable to have local shops or other home-based
businesses (e.g. often there is "insurance agencies" which are
operated out of normal detached houses) inside a residential
area/landuse/zone, so even a not-home-based barber-shop or convenience
shop might be landuse=residential (the wiki speaks of

For further detail it might indeed be possible in the future to refine
"residential" into different subtypes (e.g. the German law knows of
3-4 different types of "residential" plus some mixed ones, and while I
am not suggesting to map according the German law this could be taken
as a hint that more detail is not necessarily an exxageration).

> Locally, zoning is only directly observable when an application for a
> zoning change requires a posted sign.  Even then, While the land owner
> has "applied for permission to build an 8-storey residential building
> atop a two-story commercial shopping area (and underground parking)",
> that isn't the current landuse.  It's currently a disused gas station.

+1, we are not mapping the permitted or planned landuse but the current one.

> The correct landuse or zoning is unknowable from a casual OSM foot
> survey or aerial imagery.

this does not really matter IMHO. If someone wanted to map the zoning
(with appropriate tags, not "landuse"), this would be OK. The data is
publicly available (that's on the other hand an argument not to map it
in OSM).


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