[Tagging] shop: area or way?

Peter Wendorff wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Sun May 25 07:37:54 UTC 2014

Hi Markus,
Wiki and taginfo both are correct, but your interpretation is not ;)

There is no area data type in OSM.
Any way that forms a closed polygon may be interpreted as an
area/polygon, depending on the tags.

The info boxes are dedicated to the mapper, here saying: "use it on
polygons (that is: closed areas), but not on non-closed ways."
In addition use on a Multipolygon (which is technically a relation, but
describes an area) is allowed and common as well.

Taginfo in contrast checks on a technical level only, without
differentiating between closed and non-closed ways. Therefore most of
the 2273 ways with shop=shoes are - I guess - closed ways, a.k.a. polygons.
And yes, buildings are areas as they should be closed ways.

The taginfo box does not tell you anything about areas because taginfo
does not know about areas, nor it knows about (or at least tells
anything about) closed ways. As any closed way is a way, the number of
ways shown in the taginfo box contains all ways, closed and non-closed

Ideas on how to fix it (not in any order):

1) an area data type (which is on the idea list for quite a long time
already) ;)
2) use different icons in taginfo and the tag description box to
differentiate the technical osm-way (like the taginfo box uses it) from
the non-closed way (the tag summary box talks about).
3) explain to anyone complaining about this "discrepancy", what's the
reason for it ;)


Am 25.05.2014 09:08, schrieb Markus Semm:
> Hi all, I´m currently trying to improve the wiki in regards of
> shops=*. While preparing this activity I found a discrepancy where I
> would need your guidance.
> Example: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:shop=shoes
> In the green box in the top right corner in section "Used on these
> elements" ways are NOT allowed for shop=shoes but areas are allowed. 
> This makes sense if buildings are considered to be areas because lots
> of shops are inside buildings or they form an area themselves.
> The TAGinfo box at the bottom of the same green box, most likely
> created with something like
> {{#tag:osmtaginfo||key=shop|value=shoes}}, states that reality is
> opposite: no area exists with this tag but many ways do.
> I guess that the main reason for this discrepancy is that buildings
> are ways but not areas.
> My question is: this discrepancy is not optimal for a wiki that aims
> to give as clear rules as possible especially for newbies. What is
> your idea how we could fix this issue?
> Cheers Markus
> _______________________________________________ Tagging mailing list 
> Tagging at openstreetmap.org 
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/tagging

More information about the Tagging mailing list