[Tagging] Proposed feature - age groups in schools

Philip Barnes phil at trigpoint.me.uk
Mon Nov 26 09:18:29 GMT 2012

 I would avoid public, when tagging schools as it had very different meanings on each side of the Atlantic.

I would suggest state and private.

Sent from my Nokia N9

On 25/11/2012 23:58 Eugene Alvin Villar wrote:

Is this information something that should be placed in a geodatabase like OSM?

Or would this be better integrated into a separate school database. Maybe OpenSchoolDirectory? In that kind of database, you can include lots of information such as who is the principal, who operates the school, if the school is a public school or a private school, if it is sectarian or not, what the school's population is (and broken down per level), the number of classrooms for the school, etc.

Let OSM handle the geodata aspects of the schools (location, address, etc.) and leave it to other (hopefully open) databases to take care of those information.

On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 6:17 AM, Svavar Kjarrval <svavar at kjarrval.is> wrote:


Like I stated in the proposal, it varies a lot between countries. I agree that there are different systems determining when children get into schools and here in Iceland it's defined as a year group. However, some countries have cut off dates which don't comply with the almanac year so it's not always Jan 1st to Dec 31st. That could be defined in another tag to make the information more granular. Without such a tag, one can at least know that the school educates children who become X old that year.

Regarding cases where the prefixed parts kind of answer the question, that's not always the case. Here in Iceland, we're lucky that the Ministry of Education keeps a list of all elementary schools (they're 175) and on said list there's only a handful of them which have any indication that they're elementary schools. This will most likely apply in other countries as well. Also, if such a data processing would cover the planet, it would be very time-consuming to derive such information in all the languages by hand, so said person would only want to cover areas with school names in a language he/she knows and if he/she has time to research the school system in each area to make such deductions. With this tag, the work is already done.

Example case:
When my neighbourhood was under construction, the elementary school there only served students for the first four years (of the mandatory 10) in the year 2005. In the year 2006 it increased to the first 7 years, in 2008 the first 9 years and finally included the 10th year in 2009. Even if the name had an indication that it was an elementary school, any deductions made from the age/year groups from reading the name would've been wrong. Also, that same elementary is also a kindergarten which makes it a bit harder to define from the name alone. So an age group, in that case, wouldn't have been such a bad idea. If OSM had progressed in 2005 as it has now, it would've been useful for many purposes to know that it didn't serve all 10 years of elementary school teaching.

After this proposal has been voted on, I intend to introduce a proposal to define school areas. Age groups can play a huge role, especially in the example case above, where children in certain school years were sent to a school in another neighbourhood. So the same neighbourhood was in the area of two schools, each educating children of different school years. Without this tag in the example case above, well, we'd be boned.

If anybody skips a year or repeats one, that's of course an exception this tag can't remedy.

I agree about the factoid you mentioned shouldn't be in the wiki page for the tag, should it be accepted. These were just examples of uses so you'd get the gist of what the data could be used for. It was not intended as ultimate or the best examples of use. I'll find a more general case before requesting a vote on the proposal.

- Svavar

On 25/11/12 21:07, Steve Bennett wrote:

  With the exception of pre-schools, aren't most schools defined by the year group, rather than age? Around a here, a primary school is Prep to Grade 6, and high school is Year 7 to Year 12. The actual ranges of kids varies a bit - some skip years, some repeat. I can't see much use for coding an "age group".

To be honest, I'm not sure I even see the value in coding year groups - what does "year_group=7-12" tell you that "Blah Blah High School" doesn't? The use case of a parent choosing where to send their kids is such a rare one, and involves so much other research that I don't think having that factoid in OSM achieves much.


On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 11:08 AM, Svavar Kjarrval <svavar at kjarrval.is> wrote:


The RFC process has started for my proposal to tag the age groups schools offer education for. More information is on the wiki page.

The proposal is at https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Proposed_features/age_group .

With regards,
Svavar Kjarrval

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