[Tagging] Landuse=civic_admin

johnw johnw at mac.com
Sun Mar 16 01:20:18 UTC 2014

On Mar 16, 2014, at 1:09 AM, Martin Koppenhoefer <dieterdreist at gmail.com> wrote:

> I'd consider neither courthouses nor government buildings "administration".

Federal buildings in the US are the equivalent to branch offices of the US government - basically "national hall" - they are very far apart, usually 1-3 per state. 
They have the offices needed for passports and visas (immigration), and other federal offices, like state offices or city offices. 

I can see how courthouses are the odd man out - good point on executive vs judicial, but the judges are civil servants. they just work in the judicial branch.

The President of the United States is a "civil servant" if you work for the government in an non-military position, you are a public worker or a civil servant, hence the civic in civic_admin.
Administration, to me, is offices that you visit because they are the area's authority on the matter, or do the civil job that that their department is in charge of. That might be a national authority or a local one. 

In Japan, The City offices are huge compared to their american ones. Most of the federal services are administered via city halls and regional buildings. As the small villages have dwindled in population, these former cities have been merged into the larger ones, their former city hall becoming a "branch office" for the larger city's offices. The prefectural office - often by far the tallest and biggest building in the prefecture, is the next level of offices. These are the "federal buildings" of Japan, they are about 2 hours apart by car. The national buildings are, of course, in Tokyo.

The 5 buildings in that picture are all government office buildings in Gunma. This is giant for a population of 2 million people, especially considering there are dozens of local city offices as well. 
This is because the bureaucracy of Japan is thick and a part of of your life on a monthly basis. 

On Mar 16, 2014, at 1:53 AM, Colin Smale <colin.smale at xs4all.nl> wrote:

> Civil administration is surely hardly a land use.

As opposed to meadow?  Salt pond? Village green? 

Perhaps I am missing something. [K-12] School is a landuse, right?  Hospital is a landuse. College is a landuse. 

If you want to talk zoning laws and all that, yea. City hall is on "public" land and all, and it really doesn't have a usage limitation attached to it like "residential" or "Industrial".

But landuse doesn't seem to care about that. It seems to be a way to separate the land into landuses for mapping differentiation in OSM. 

OSM is mapping what exists, not the zoning for what it could be.  (as I understand it).


I was told that commercial is the proper landuse for city hall, and we treat it like an office building. 

My proposal is that it isn't a commercial landuse - it's something different.
That it should be differentiated from the other basic landuses, as school or hospital is.
In some countries, the location of city hall is as important as knowing where the hospital or university is - you visit it much more often than a hospital anyways. 

landuse seems to be the appropriate tag, because it is used to outline the land that the buildings sit on. And in OSM, those landsues are colored to denote use. 

I am looking for a tag to define the area the townhall building sits on, or other similarly related offices that are neither commercial, industrial, or residential. 

Considering the plethora of landuse tags, I assume there is room for something like civic_admin.  

How far does it need to be narrowed, or is there another category of area tags that can be used to differentiate these place's area that I don't know about?


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